Going with the flow can be pleasing, but it is not satisfactory. Along for the Ride is a film that explores this aspect light-heartedly. At a point in time, we all have felt pissed about how tedious things are around us.
We have tried pursuing a new hobby, enhancing another dimension of our personality, or deflected from who we are to who we can be. Along for the Ride on Netflix wants to reflect on some of the options one can explore when they are in a state of existential discomfort.
Before I go into a detailed perusal, here is a summary of my Along for the Ride review.
Along for the Ride Review Summary
This Netflix film is full of tranquility and peace while gently pushing you into nostalgia. It is serene and adorable for most of the part while delivering just about everything a teen drama should.
Along for the Ride Synopsis
Based on Sarah Dessen’s novel by the same name, Along for the Ride is a swoon-worthy film about teen romance and self-discovery. It is directed by Sofia Alvarez and stars Emma Pasarow (Auden), Belmont Cameli (Eli), Laura Kariuki (Maggie), and Kate Bosworth (Heidi) in lead roles.
The plot revolves around Auden, a high-school student who wants to be a different version of herself. To achieve the goal, she heads to Colby, her dad’s place, in the summer before college.
In Colby, she meets mysterious Eli, who helps her experience the carefree teen life she was missing. Together they go on a sweet ride (not by road) involving fun, emotions, and feel-good conversations.
What Works for Along for the Ride?
As a whole, Along for the Ride is a movie made with the right intentions. Given below are some of the things that stood out for me.
I won’t say it sets the vibe straight away, but it does in due time. Effectively, the picturization of Colby enhances the positive energy. Since Along for the Ride captures teen issues, most of the conversations are pure and unblemished.
You’d feel connected to the talks the whole time and wouldn’t want them to recede. I specifically loved how Auden gelled with the girls at Clementine’s. Then her scenes with Eli instill hope and warmth in you.
Everybody is a treat to witness in Along for the Ride. Though the best performance, obviously, comes from Emma Pasarow, Laura Kariuki did a fantabulous job despite not getting a full-fledged role.
Emma is just too good in the movie with her honest expressions and curtailed sense of humor. She digs the character of Auden perfectly and draws out several interesting things. In hindsight, when I look at the role that was assigned to her, she hardly had anything to work on.
However, Emma infused her own style of action to convert what could have been a bland character into an exciting and lovable person.
Belmont Cameli, who plays Eli, is a sweet combination of style and simplicity. As a mysterious, self-abasing character, Cameli had to suppress his real-life persona to a fairly large extent, which he does pretty well.
I don’t know whether they used video effects to implement the bike stunts, but they looked wonderful to the eyes. If Belmont himself did them, he deserves thunderous applause (I am clapping).
Now, as I mentioned earlier, a few words of praise for Laura Kariuki, who plays Maggie. She is both humorous and intense in the film, but what she slays like a queen is her attitude. Usually, we talk about a character’s personality but not their attitude.
Maggie’s attitude is what sets her apart from every other dramatis personae in Along for the Ride.
A swoon-worthy film without good songs is not what the doctor would ever order. Along for the Ride has a decent amount of pleasant melodies to set the right mood. If I had to choose one, it would be Despicable Dogs by Small Black. I know it’s old, but the rhythm never dies.
I have to say it: creating a simple story in 2022 is not easy. You can do that in books, but bringing it to the screen in a beautiful way is laudable. Audiences are usually searching for thrill and suspense stories to binge-watch, for our collective patience levels are at an all-time low.
Along for the Ride has a short duration of under two hours, which is why it doesn’t feel overwhelming. It is not too emotional or preachy and stays close to the primary goal of self-discovery.
What Doesn’t Work for Along for the Ride?
Old Wine in New Bottle
Regardless of the execution, songs, performances, and other aspects, Along for the Ride is something we have seen before. A teenager seeking an alternate personality to rediscover themself is an old-age concept.
The concept lacks novelty, but the story covers it up. Still, if I had to choose a low point for Along for the Ride, it would be this.
If you want to get a break from your regular work, Along for the Ride is what you need to binge-watch to feel refreshed. Moreover, it will allow you to reminisce your teenage days, given that you are above twenty.