Better Nate Than Ever is a Love Letter to the Weirdos

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Better Nate than ever review
Rueby Wood as Nate in 20th Century Studios' BETTER NATE THAN EVER, exclusively on Disney+. Photo by David Lee. © 2022 Disney Enterprises, Inc. All Rights Reserved.

At some point in our younger lives, we have all felt like the weirdo – the outcast and that no one understands us. And that’s why movies about characters like that often hit home the most. Better Nate than Ever is a new 20th Century Studios release coming to Disney+, which is nothing short of a love letter to those theater kids who always felt weird in school and that they didn’t fit in.

Billed as a Ferris Beuller adventure – the movie isn’t without flaws. Unlike Ferris Beuller, where high schoolers go off for an adventure in Chicago, the city next to them, Nate and his friend Libby sneak off to New York City to audition for a Disney musical. Nate and Libby, both are 13 – have only enough money for a bus ticket to and from the city and don’t plan for anything else. Their young age is more of a detriment to the plans than it is a benefit. They aren’t just going to watch a baseball game in the big city within 15 minutes of their home, but take an overnight bus ride from Pittsburgh to New York – a six-hour drive by car on a good day.

Better Nate than ever review
Rueby Wood as Nate in 20th Century Studios’ BETTER NATE THAN EVER, exclusively on Disney+. Photo courtesy of 20th Century Studios. © 2022 Disney Enterprises, Inc. All Rights Reserved.

In true Disney fashion, Nate runs into his aunt while in the city at just the right moment. Not only helping him get the audition he really wanted but later helping repair some broken family bond. The movie does offer a singing in public type situation, similar to the iconic Ferris Beuller parade scene – but uses social media to increase the popularity of Nate and bring the situation to a more modern audience.

The movie is filled with moments of laughter, important conversations that are given the weight of a soap bubble, and of course the Disney-style clueless parent we are so used to in these movies with younger main characters. The character of Nate is so obsessed with his future Broadway career, that it seems like his family, friends, and even life outside of the theater isn’t really important to him. And while this seems like an extreme – we all knew that kid in school.

Better Nate than ever review
Rueby Wood as Nate in 20th Century Studios’ BETTER NATE THAN EVER, exclusively on Disney+. Photo courtesy of 20th Century Studios. © 2022 Disney Enterprises, Inc. All Rights Reserved.

Yes, Better Nate than Ever is ridiculous in a lot of places. But in every school theater, there’s a Nate. There’s a kid who is so obsessed and over the top, that their love for theater and acting is their personality. It may be extreme to a lot of people, but that passion shines through and their obsession with their own future path is their personality. The movie is complete fluff and blows off some very serious conversations and potentially dangerous situations that could happen when two 13-year-olds run off to New York City with no plan or money – but it will speak loudly to the kids who never felt like they fit in, or dreamed too big for their small town.

Better Nate than Ever will be released directly to Disney+ on April 1st. The movie is made for the theater kids, the geeks, and weirdos who never felt seen and dream big. While it may not be a movie for everyone, younger theater kids are going to love having a movie that they can see themselves in, and relate to.

Overall Rating:

Three and a Half Stars Review

About Better Nate Than Ever

Better Nate than ever review

In Disney’s musical comedy “Better Nate Than Ever,” 13-year-old Nate Foster has big Broadway dreams. There’s only one problem — he can’t even land a part in the school play. But when his parents leave town, Nate and his best friend Libby sneak off to the Big Apple for a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to prove everyone wrong. A chance encounter with Nate’s long-lost Aunt Heidi turns his journey upside-down, and together they must learn that life’s greatest adventures are only as big as your dreams. Based on the award-winning novel.

BETTER NATE THAN EVER is premiering exclusively on Disney+

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