Hello, Goodbye, and Everything In between

Where I Watched It: Netflix

Description Provided By: International Digital Center

Narrated By: Judy lemcheck

in a race to make a feature length film for a generation who no longer has an attention span, Netflix has released a film that is the rare exception to the “this film could have been shorter” complaint that most critics make. The official runtime is 84 minutes, but that includes credits, so you know you’re getting out under that 1:20 mark. Basically, this actual full length feature is a full hour shorter than the 9th episode of Stranger Things most recent season. That’s where we are culturally.

It’s also one of those “make it cheap, make it quick” films, where they don’t bother to pay talent anyone has heard of, aside from Jordan Fischer, who is supposed to be the draw to this technically inspired teen romcom. Technically, the plot is exactly what the title promises. You get the “hello” part of the relationship, where one teen girl not looking for a commitment agrees to date a boy for the remains of their senior year until they both leave for college, because he agrees to break up with her. So mature. Then the film montages and leaps to the break up day, where he takes her on one last epic date that’s a giant recap of their entire relationship. He’s more of the mindset that love conquers all. And you’re supposed to sit there and wonder HOW WILL THIS END?

Truth is, the format is interesting, but poorly executed. The structure doesn’t allow us to be emotionally grounded with any of the characters, and we’re asked to go totally based on how likeable the leads are. They are, which helps, but all the supporting cast members get lost in these introductions like we’ve known them all our lives. It’s like if I told you to only watch the This Is us finale, and not the entire series. you would ahve some questions, and not be as invested in the characters as someone who watched the whole thing. All the looking back and reminiscing in the world can’t save the films desire to sprint to the finish line like someone’s life depended on it.

It’s a rare occasion when I would ask a film to be longer, but I think if this film actually paced itself better, allowed for more set ups, and established its more consequential supporting cast, it would be a stronger film. If this floated in the 90-95 minute range, it should still be incredibly accessible, while also giving the characters enough time to develop.

Instead, this Netflix movie is just shot out of a T-Shirt cannon, and hopefully you just like the fact that you got a free shirt from a cannon. no questions asked. no deep thoughts. That’s what Netflix wants from you, and largely what they’ve been wanting from their audiences for almost every single release this year. Please, don’t think too hard, because if you do, you’ll realize how insignificant this film actually is.

However, with jordan Fischer in this film, I’m sure it will get multiple unnecessary sequels, each one trying to be shorter then the last.

This film isn’t terrible, but it’s not striving to be the best, a classic, or your next favorite. It’s just wanting to be interesting enough that you’ll consider continuing to pay Netflix their high subscription rate, so you can get more generic films that are made with just enough TLC that they remain borderline watchable.

The Blind Perspective: I mean, there really isn’t a gigantic difficulty to this film, but I did find it interesting that the narration pointed out some of the characters racial backgrounds. That’s interesting. Yes, there is a mixed cast here, but the film itself isn’t actually about race relations. It’s not as important as you might think, but if you’re looking for representation, and you didn’t know Jordan Fischer was black, this narration is here to remind you.

Final Thoughts: It is what it is. A straight to streaming teen romcom. Do with that as you will.

Final Grade: C+

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