‘Better Nate Than Never’ (2022) | Movie Review

Directed By:

Tim Federle

Written By:

Tim Federle


Lisa Kudrow, Joshua Bassett, Rueby Wood


Comedy, Drama, Family

Rated: PG for thematic elements, a suggestive reference and mild language

All media used courtesy of Disney

Nate Foster’s world feels lost after failing to land roles in his middle school’s drama productions. He fantasizes about becoming a Broadway star, and takes it upon himself to go with his friend to the Big Apple in hopes of being cast in an upcoming stage production of Lilo and Stitch. When Nate’s tasked with not only beating his competition, but to navigate the city with just the help of his friend and estranged aunt, perhaps his big dreams are too overwhelming, in this PG tribute to broadway that is likely very good for the theater crowd, but may be a tough sell for general audiences.

It can be hard to get someone into a musical, let alone a musical about broadway. The approach taken here with director Tim Federle does invite everyone to be whisked away with Nate, much like we did in Home Alone 2 Lost In New York. Lisa Kudrow does well with her character though there’s not a lot fleshed out in her story, most the attention is on Rueby Wood. There are some good songs and dancing that helps with the extremely positive tone of the film, but there’s something to me missing with the story or in the characters that make me not relate to them a lot.

Which is weird to say, I’m a drama kid myself! Maybe it’s the tone that throws it off for me, or the somewhat stale jokes that tend to waiver more than hit. It isn’t the worst musical to come out in the past years, it just also isn’t very memorable. It’s like a doughnut with literally every topping available. In the end you have a sugary, sweet, messy yet digestible film that won’t leave you full, but could for sure be satisfying in the moment. But this is just my opinion, having no kids to tell me what they think so It’s all based on a 30 year olds perspective. Take it for what it’s worth.

Rating: 5 out of 10.
Patrick Beatty
Patrick Beatty

Patrick Beatty is a film critic and creator of PatrickBeattyReviews.com and the Gaggle of Geeks Podcast network. Watch him Friday’s on ABC4 Good Things Utah talk about movies and follow all his work in the link below.

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