The 2022 Netflix movie ‘Along for the Ride’ based on a novel of the same name by Sarah Dresden is too long for it’s simple, slow, ‘seen too many times’ kind of story. Tagged under ‘romance’ and ‘drama’, the film directed by Sofia Alvarez would’ve worked a lot better as a buddy flick, since the little moments between the leading lady and her new girlfriends are the best bits about it.
Emma Pasarow plays asocial protagonist Auden, who moves to the small sea-side town Colby for the summer before college, to work in her step-mom’s (Kate Bosworth) store and hopefully bond with her father (Dermot Mulroney). However, Auden’s main goal is to live a ‘different version’ of herself in Colby, because back home she has no friends and hence no fun memories. Luckily for her, she also meets fellow insomniac Eli (Belmont Cameli), who is in need of a new friend too.
The film is leisurely paced, and while it works well for some parts since it’s a summer romance and has some beautiful beach-y cinematography, large parts of it is just tedious. The camera-work is a little annoying, with unnecessary lingering shots… for example, why do we need a close-up of Auden’s finished plate of dessert? Also, Emma Pasarow and Belmont Cameli have close to zero spark between them as Auden and Eli. For no particular reason, Pasarow isn’t very convincing as a teen girl with an old soul, neither is Cameli for that matter, which is weird since both of them are in their early 20s and older actors have pulled off teen roles with way more ease than them.
Mulroney gets a stock father kind of character – generic narcissistic author who couldn’t care less about anyone else. Kate Bosworth plays a young mompreneur Heidi who is one argument away from a nervous breakdown, but at least she isn’t the stereotypical step-mother and is super-supportive of Auden. Andie MacDowell in her brief cameo as Auden’s mom was all right.
‘Along For The Ride’ does have its sweet moments, the climax surprisingly was sweet, filled with a summery optimism that’s all about friendship, laughter and fun. That said, the long runtime and lukewarm romance doesn’t add up well.
It’s a 5/10 from me.
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