Hello, goodbye and everything in between review – charming Netflix romance | romantic movies

this summer marks four years since Netflix released To All The Boys I’ve Loved Before, a huge success that created in-house stars from the minds of Noah Centineo and Lana Condor, near the romcom’s single-handedly cemented Netflix revival, and generated sweet movie magic that the platform has been seeking ever since. The two franchise sequels and similar YA entries, like this May’s Along for the Ride (written by To All The Boys writer Sofia Alvarez), have struggled to recapture the charm of the original, in large part because charm by nature cannot. are manufactured.

Which makes it surprising, as someone who has watched many of these attempts, that Hello, Goodbye and Everything in Between, the latest Netflix YA summer romance from TATBILB producers and starring TATBLIB veteran Jordan Fisher, usually delivers where the others fell short. The central romance clicks, the alchemy is more than the sum of its parts and the tight story clocks in at a light-hearted 82 minutes. The script’s reference-heavy banter, by Ben York Jones and Amy Reed, based on Jennifer E Smith’s 2015 novel of the same name, is more than halfway believable. There are frustrating boundaries to the world the film portrays – affluent and ambitious suburbs, a very narrow and overrepresented part of the American teenage experience. But within the confines of that worldview, it nails the intoxicating delusions and all-consuming neuroses of adolescents on the brink of change, thanks in large part to two very winning performances from Fisher and co-star Talia Ryder.

Fisher, also an executive producer, plays Aidan, the child of two doctors who are pressured to follow in their footsteps. Over the course of 10 convincing, impressively efficient minutes, he falls for Ryder’s Clare, a fellow student and child of divorced high school sweethearts who has moved back after living elsewhere. They meet in November and she claims she doesn’t want a boyfriend when she goes to college; they kiss anyway, agreeing to free fall until the hard deadline of her departure. A montage of their first kiss to graduation and other milestones (it’s nice, given Netflix’s relatively sexless dealings with YA, to have two characters repeatedly fall into a real bed) crashes us in August, on the eve of their scheduled break.

The rest of the film follows their last, grand date, which naturally springs from mutually agreed-upon romantic goodbyes to the painful tangle of emotions Clare hoped to avoid. There is inevitably heartache and fear of the future, along with some B-plot hijinks from friends Scotty (Nico Haraga, who plays essentially the same stoner-y goof with a heart of gold as in other teen films Booksmart and Netflix’s Moxie) and Stella ( Ayo Edebiri, who plays a less mature version of her sardonic character in The Bear, this summer’s surprise TV hit).

Hello, Goodbye and Everything in Between, directed by Michael Lewen, the TATBILB aesthetic doubles down on: atmospheric pop music, skirts and crop-tops, bottled chemistry brimming with naturalistic ribbing, enviable Pacific Northwest homes, the specter of the distant elite colleges, a racially diverse cast, wholesome parties where no one really gets drunk. Like its relative, the film successfully focuses on the emotional dissonance of a suburban teenager – chaotic and wildly intense emotions in a stable, fundamentally conservative environment.

Ryder, who impressed as a teen helping her cousin get an out-of-state abortion in the bleak indie drama Never Rarely Sometimes Always, makes Clare’s plan to break up less like a clunky plot device and more like the heartfelt response. of one person at a time. scared, confused and impressed with the future. With her eyes and almost quivering emotion, she radiates internal tension and believably outlines very teenage logic – to confuse denying one’s feelings for maturity, to arbitrarily end things for independence. Fisher, a more forced actor who plays a softer character, still manages to match her naturalism. The two have an easy intimacy; you never doubt that Clare and Aidan love each other, in an 18-year-old way, and that that way counts a lot.

Hello, Goodbye and Everything in Between works because, despite this seriousness – as corny as it can be, as formal as the beats sometimes are, as ridiculous as Clare and Aidan’s situation sometimes seems, it never loses sight of their feelings matter. The film never pierces the sanitized surface of its aesthetic, but does dig into the specifically teenage delusion that you can avoid the messiness of endings, that you can plunge into deep feelings and come out unscathed. That you can control emotions, that you can avoid being hurt. It has achieved what few of its peers have been able to do: make me believe in a teenage novel, remember the confusion of growing up, and feel content with an ending that hints at an open-book future.

Leave a Comment