Sophie Jones checks off all the boxes for a coming of age drama. Sophie (Jessica Barr) is a sixteen year old dealing with the recent death of her mother. She wants to distract herself for the loss and move on with her life. But she is also a teenager who is still in the process of growing up. This means learning about love, loneliness, sex, and handling grief.
Barr is great in the lead role. A scientific fact is all teenagers are annoying and overbearing. Sophie is no different. The best coming of age movies lean into this truism and still manage to make their characters likable. Like any other teen, Sophie can be selfish and difficult to handle. Barr comes across as real without pushing the audience away.
This is partially due to the chemistry the cast has with each other. Sophie Jones has a natural quality to it. This is not so much a story as it is a window into people’s lives. It makes the film more engaging. This is especially important since some of the supporting characters are not as fully formed.
Where the film differs most is in its storytelling. Most coming of age stories have protagonists with specific goals – to leave town, go to college, fall in love, etc. This is not really the case with Sophie Jones. Sophie is not trying to do anything in particular. She is just living her life. This adds to the down to earth feel of things, but some may be bothered by what appears to be a lack of structure.
Sophie Jones is a coming of age story with a different take on delivering the message of growing up. Instead of having the main character try to resolve one issue, the film puts the audience into their life. It is a grounded and relatable tale that manages to stick out in a crowded genre.
Sophie Jones opens in select theaters, Digital Platforms, and VOD on March 2
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