All Together Now – Review

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Four years after winning the hearts of the audience when filling in the voice of Moana, Auliʻi Cravalho finally had the opportunity to make her live action debut in the adaptation of Matthew Quick’s Sorta Like a Rockstar, who is also the author of the novel The Silver Linings Playbook. Cravalho immediately exuded his charm from the first minute through singing, little dancing, and big smiles, while teaching English to Korean mothers through Shirley Ellis’ The Clapping Song. I believe, after this his name will take off, even though All Together Now is not a spectacle that will be remembered.

Cravalho plays Amber, a cheerful teenager with a noble heart. Every weekend she volunteers at a nursing home, accepting only generous donations as payment for teaching English, as well as leading her school friends to organize talent shows with the aim of helping those in need. He likes to help, but is reluctant to accept the helping hand of others, as taught by his mother, Becky (Justina Machado).

She held that principle, until Amber told no one that now she and her mother were homeless, after leaving the house of Becky’s violent lover. Luckily, Becky works as a school bus driver, so that the two of them can secretly take shelter for a while on the bus that he drives. The two of them love each other, but Becky has a problem. He’s an alcoholic. And no matter how many times Amber expressed disapproval, Becky still wanted to go back to her boyfriend. In fact, in addition to having “played hands”, it was this man who also dropped him into the abyss of alcoholism.

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Of course Amber refused to remain silent. He wants to improve his mother’s life. He also dreamed of continuing to study at Carnegie Mellon University, which was also his late father’s alma mater, in order to hone his talent for singing. But as soon as Amber puts up a fight, All Together Now presents a surprise. Surprise, unfortunately, is also a form of simplification of conflict. Becky died in an accident. Then, as if all his sins were erased and forgotten. The film moves into the realm of superficial melancholy drama, which turns a blind eye to the complexities of the parent-child relationship, from communication to the way each party shows affection. The exploration opportunity was thrown away. Becky is suddenly a faultless, loving mother. Best Movie

When Amber’s cheerfulness is gone, so is the charm of this film, which in the previous minutes, was so dependent on Cravalho’s energy. His dramatic acting is realistic, but the script by director Brett Haley (Hearts Beat Loud, All the Bright Places) with Matthew Quick and Marc Basch is like being confused about the protagonist’s grief. Instead of exploration, repetitions are carried out. The script repeats the depiction of how sad and hopeless Amber is, and how those around her try to provide support in the same way. Amber was tired of being constantly offered help, I was tired of the reps of her films.

But as the title implies, All Together Now is still a hopeful treat, with an important message that is quite relevant, considering that many individuals today are starting to become apathetic to togetherness in the social sphere. Accepting favors and / or gifts does not indicate weakness, nor is it wrong, especially if we really need it.

The talent show that filled the third round is indeed another form of simplification, with a presentation that could have been stronger if Amber and her friends’ relationship filled the screen more often, but it must be admitted, an appearance as the highlight of the show, managed to appear both warm and touching. Smiles and tears coincide, while perfecting the message about the social dynamics. Movie Review

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