Another week brings another Netflix young-adult film release, the latest taking the shape of All Together Now, an adaptation of Matthew Quick’s (of Silver Lining’s Playbook fame) Sorta Like a Rockstar. The streaming services latest new flick unleashes Moana star Auli’i Cravalho into the live-action movie world as an aspiring singer who goes through personal hell as she manoeuvres her way through the final year of high school.
I sat down with reasonably high hopes after having fun with fellow young ‘un flicks like The Half of It and Work It that were also released on Netflix in recent months. Now I don’t think All Together Now work as well, or are nearly as enjoyable as the previously mentioned films, but there’s something about ATN that makes it watchable.
Granted I found it a little bit of a snooze for the opening twenty as I thought it was heading into bog-standard ‘teen film’ territory with a bunch of teen outcasts trying to ‘aim for their dreams’ whilst being a little disappointed Moana wasn’t singing every other word. I would implore you, however, to keep with it as we move into more interesting – and quite effectively teary – themes of loss, abuse and class, made even more heartwrenching by a cutesy old dog in a bag.
Now I don’t think ATN delivers on all of these areas – touching on some of the darker areas only fleetingly and leaving some supporting characters way out on the touch line – but there are some legitimately moving sequences that will make your eye hole quiver just a little as we steam towards a predictable end point. Don’t worry though, Moana does sing again – and it is magical!