Netflix’s “Along For The Ride” was Underwhelmingly Basic



Lydia Foster and Lianka Pechova

Netflix’s newest movie adaptation, “Along For The Ride,” was directed by Sofia Alvarez and inspired by a young adult romance book written by Sarah Dessen. It follows Auden West, a soon-to-be college student, who “discovers herself” while on a trip to visit her father. Or, at least, that’s what it’s supposed to be; but instead, the plot of the story is nonexistent and the characters are stereotypical and unoriginal. In the end, it turned out to be yet another basic and anticlimactic teen romance movie.

Auden experiences virtually no character development throughout the entire movie. All of her “changes” are very surface-level, and by the end of the movie, she is the same person she was in the beginning; a boring, hypocritical character, who is just overall unlikable.

Auden is just like every other young adult protagonist: she doesn’t fit in, is an introvert, and has a “tragic” background. Her sob story of having divorced parents somewhat compares to Eli’s — the “offstandish and mysterious” love interest — who lost his best friend in a car accident. She was most likely supposed to be written as a relatable character for teen audiences, but instead she comes off as flat and bland to the point that most of the side characters are more interesting than her.

One of Auden’s friends, Maggie, easily fits into the stereotypical “black best friend” position. She only really exists to help the protagonist, and despite being the only one with an actual personality, she is treated as irrelevant and is tossed aside. 

Oftentimes, it feels as if there are too many side plots distracting from the one cohesive storyline, many of them are underdeveloped; they feel like snippets of separate “copy-and-paste” style plots. Essentially, the movie feels like every plot of every teen “coming of age” movie stuffed together.

Despite these many flaws, the movie wasn’t terrible all-around. The setting and lighting were aesthetically pleasing, and the soundtrack complemented the visuals.

Lots of scenes are shot in a picturesque way, with dark lighting and vibrant colors, and combined with the soft-rock style music, they give off a ‘memory-montage’ feel. The setting and soundtrack are used to convey the mood of the story, rather than the plot, which could have maybe been a creative way to execute this movie, but it still somehow wasn’t able to meet our incredibly low expectations.

Overall, the movie was a complete waste of time. It doesn’t leave the viewers feeling a certain way, and it didn’t even follow a basic plot diagram. Instead of producing the same teen romance movies over and over again, Netflix could try to create something original that people will actually enjoy watching.