Better Nate Than Ever. Quick Review.

This reviewer tends to cover a lot of Disney + original movies on this blog. To put it nicely they mostly suck. Even some of the bigger titles have an air of the sort of thing the mouse house does not want the general public to see. So it gets quietly buried on streaming. This writer felt that it was only fair to highlight a recent release that he thought was rather good. On the surface, Better Nate Than Ever looks like the sort of mid-2000s Disney Channel throwback that has now become bread and butter for the streaming service. This story of a young theatre kid who chases his Broadway dream in New York while getting into several misadventures holds no surprises whatsoever. That said the execution is so charming across the board that to a certain audience the film will be impossible to dislike. The narrative is Built on a foundation of engaging child performances combined with a sharply written script that shows genuine love for the culture it’s portraying. Critically the narrative has enough distance from the protagonists to not be totally in love with itself. This avoids the problems faced by the recent adaptation of Tick Tick Boom. Nate may grow up to be a mini Jonathan Larson but he’s certainly a more likeable figure than Larson as portrayed by Andrew Garfield ( Much as Garfield’s performance is fantastic.) For as cheesy and televisual as the whole thing feels Better Nate Then Ever doesn’t have a cynical bone in its body. This enables it to both be a love letter to theatre culture whilst also poking gentle fun at the hubris and mechanics of child casting. It’s nothing revolutionary but deserves a solid recommendation if the subject matter seems like something watchers would be into. It’s certainly one of the better Disney + original movies. The bar may be incredibly low but that’s not to discourage the fact that Better Nate Then Ever is incredibly solid at exactly what it’s trying to do. For its target audience of kids and theatre-loving adults, it’s an effective, earnest and fun time.

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