Mixtape feels acquainted and new suddenly due to its earnest story and central messages of household and grief that can contact viewers of all ages.

Though not a vacation film by any stretch of the creativeness, Netflix’s latest family-friendly unique Mixtape feels completely suited to this time of yr. This healthful story manages to steadiness mature ideas with a younger, fresh-faced forged with out making issues too heavy-handed or melodramatic. It’s not based mostly on any YA novel (as a substitute crafted by author Stacey Menear), however Mixtape holds many hallmarks of what one might anticipate from a coming-of-age film, from the all too important friendships to a rocking soundtrack. Director Valerie Weiss does not fairly reinvent the wheel right here, however she nonetheless finds success. Mixtape feels acquainted and new suddenly due to its earnest story and central messages of household and grief that can contact viewers of all ages.

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As the brand new millennium dawns and radio personalities debate the validity of Y2K, precocious 12-year-old Beverly Moody (Gemma Brooke Allen) makes a discovery within the midst of cleansing her home: a damaged mixtape left behind by her deceased rocker dad and mom. Beverly was orphaned at a younger age when her dad and mom died in a automobile accident, and she or he’s since been raised by her grandmother Gail (Julie Bowen), who nonetheless carries scars from her daughter’s passing. Armed with the checklist of songs on the mixtape, Beverly units out to hearken to every little bit of music her dad and mom left behind within the hopes of probably uncovering a message.

Related: Every Netflix Movie & Series Releasing For Christmas 2021

Gemma Brooke Allen in Mixtape
Gemma Brooke Allen in Mixtape

Throughout Mixtape, new mates assist Beverly in her journey to filling in bits of her dad and mom’ previous, and it is these relationships that present the movie with a few of its greatest strengths. The throwback soundtrack and strong manufacturing parts additional bolster Mixtape, however it’s the friendships that can resonate probably the most instead of any main technical features. Initially awkward and friendless, Beverly recruits bubbly Ellen (Audrey Hsieh) and surly Nicky (Olga Petsa) to her trigger, in addition to cynical file retailer proprietor Anti (Nick Thune). To Menear’s credit score as a screenwriter, every of the characters in Mixtape come absolutely fashioned and none of them fall into anticipated stereotypes. The means sure relationships progress — similar to, say, Beverly and Anti’s bond — is pretty predictable, however that’s to be anticipated from a movie like this one.

That’s one of many comforts of Mixtape: it is simple to inform proper from the outset what sort of film it’ll be. For some, Beverly’s bright-eyed dedication will grate, however Weiss manages to maintain the whole affair from falling fully into corny territory. She (together with Menear’s script) does not shrink back from the advanced emotions that encompass grief or the circumstances that come up from teen being pregnant (as Bev’s dad and mom had her younger), as a substitute permitting Mixtape to take pleasure in quieter moments that think about these ideas. Despite among the heavy feelings that encompass the plot, the film by no means sinks into something resembling true sorrow; since this was definitely made with younger viewers in thoughts, Weiss is cautious to keep away from holding issues unhappy for lengthy. That’s to not say Mixtape does not get emotional. In truth, viewers may discover themselves choked up throughout a key scene between Beverly and Gail close to the tip.

Olga Petsa, Gemma Brooke Allen, and Audrey Hsieh in Mixtape
Olga Petsa, Gemma Brooke Allen, and Audrey Hsieh in Mixtape

A film like Mixtape relies upon enormously on the power of its lead actress, so it is a aid to say that Allen is as much as the duty of shouldering this undertaking. The rising actress completely conveys Beverly’s burning need to know extra about her dad and mom, in addition to her deeper insecurity over whether or not they want her had they survived. The more and more outlandish issues Beverly does to listen to every mixtape track might get annoying, however Allen retains the viewers firmly on the center schooler’s facet. Modern Family followers will not be stunned to study Bowen is one other standout within the Mixtape forged; although Gail is not as humorous a task, Bowen does such an incredible job at portraying her grief that it is practically palpable with out being too excessive. Special credit score also needs to be given to Thune, who nails Anti’s sarcastic nature and hidden depths.

There are viewers who will doubtless balk at Mixtape‘s borderline saccharine worldview, however there’s one thing to be mentioned about good old school consolation movies. Though focused in the direction of households and youthful viewers, this is not a film that treats its viewers like juveniles. There are parts for folks of all ages to take pleasure in, just like the jam-filled soundtrack and the sweetly depicted relationships. So for anybody on the lookout for a heartwarming film this vacation season that does not really contain any Christmas timber or menorahs, Mixtape simply may match the invoice.

More: 8-Bit Christmas Review: Nostalgia-Heavy ’80s Comedy Feels Too Familiar

Mixtape begins streaming on Netflix Friday, December 3. It is 97 minutes lengthy and is rated TV-G.

Our Rating:

3 out of 5 (Good)

  • Mixtape (2021)Release date: Dec 03, 2021

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