All the YES!
Adversity is basically life in high school and how any of us survived is beyond me. This movie lends itself to this 2019 narrative and remind us all to be uniquely who you are; someone worthy of love.
This cast is amazing and talented across the board. The casting director/director (Nzingha Stewart) absolutely nailed it. Griffin Gluck, who plays Dunkleman, is a rising star that I could actually watch all day. He’s beyond talented and I can’t wait for his next role! The rest of the cast was consistent and had full bodied characters that lent a helping hand to a tightly woven script. The plot is refreshing and completely relevant. It was void of teenage stereotypes and lightly poked fun at them throughout the story. The diversity in this film is a perfect blend of all different types of people, short and tall.
The chemistry is palpable between the two main lovebirds which surprised me due to their age, on and off screen. I think it's difficult for on screen teens to portray romantic interest since the chemistry has to be believable and balance puberty, adulthood, and the confusing time in between those stages. However, the chemistry felt age appropriate and I fully bought into it.
The relationship between Jodi (Ava Michelle) and her parents is done well and finally showcases a dad as the one who cares the most! We haven’t seen a father fully committed to his teenage daughter, without being annoyingly overprotective, ever. It was heartwarming and not forced which, again, is a refreshing take on a seemingly timeless story.
“Is it really that hard to believe that guy is in to me?” “YES.. all he does is make fun of you” - finally we are acknowledging that harassment does not equal love and adoration! Thank you for a female best friend who isn't a total mess and silly; Fareeda (Anjelika Washington) was smart, honest, and brave which gave the dynamic of the best friendship actual depth and conviction.
This soundtrack is dope! Music was utilized to the fullest, especially during scene transitions, giving the movie a grounded and realistic vibe. Cinematography is gorgeous and matches the tone of the story perfectly. There are a few shots that are fresh and funny (you’ll know them when you see them) which kept the plot moving along well. I adored the use of close-ups throughout the film as a way of reinforcing the intimate moments.
If you're looking for a different, new-aged romcom, check this one out asap!