Along for the Ride is a teenage drama movie that deals with the insecurities the teenagers face and how they deal with the same. The movie is also about the baggage of expectations that the parents heap upon their children and how it affects their lives.
Along for the Ride revolves around Auden, played by Emma Pasarow, a studious teenager who has just completed her graduation and has won herself a scholarship in Defriese. However, she is yet to get over the trauma of her parent’s bitter divorce.
Auden lives with her mother, Victoria, played by Andie McDowell, a professor who has huge expectations from her daughter. Victoria has always made the usual kid stuff sound silly, and Auden has never had a normal childhood.
With college just a few months away, Auden decides to spend the summer with her father, Robert, played by Dermot Mulroney, and her stepmom Heidi, played by Kate Bosworth, in the small beach town of Colby.
Will Auden, the insomniac, be able to rediscover herself in the sleepy town of Colby is what the movie is all about.
Along for the Ride: Where To Watch It?
Along for the Ride was released on the streaming platform Netflix on May 6, 2022. Along for the Ride is based on the famous author Sarah Dessen’s romantic teen novel by the same name. Along for the Ride also marks the directorial debut of screenwriter Sofia Alvarez.
The Plot of Along for the Ride
Along for the Ride begins with Auden narrating to the viewers about a high school ritual at Kiffney-Brown Prep, where the fresh graduates climbed the bell tower and rang the bell for an hour.
Auden skips this ritual as her mom disapproved of such frivolous juvenile activities.
Back home, we find Auden’s mom announcing before her friends about Auden’s decision to spend her summer with her father and stepmom. However, the manner in which she speaks about them makes it apparent that she doesn’t think highly of them.
Auden reaches Colby and receives a lukewarm response from her father. Her stepmom is very friendly but looks quite overworked with a newly born girl with absolutely no support from her husband.
Later Heidi takes Auden to her store, where Auden has promised to help out.
At first, Auden doesn’t seem to be hitting it off well with the rest of the store staff, which includes Maggie, played by Laura Kariuki, Esther, played by Sania Finnerty, and Leah, played by Genevieve Hannelius, but later they become good pals.
Auden, who has trouble sleeping at night, goes to the pier at night and reads books. At the pier, she gets to meet the handsome Eli, played by Belmont Cameli, a fellow insomniac.
They befriend each other, and Eli takes her to the secret pie shop where he plays his favourite music and suggests that they play the game of Connect 4.
Auden has never seen this game before and calls it vertical checkers, making Eli realize that Auden did not have a normal childhood.
Auden confesses that she wishes that she could have done the kid stuff like trespassing and food fight. Eli also realizes that Auden regrets not being able to go to the prom wearing the dress she had so painstakingly chosen.
Eli suggests to Auden that she do all the stuff she hasn’t done before but dreams of doing. Eli calls it a quest, and they hang out every night doing the quest, from trespassing to playing mini-golf.
It turns out that Eli, too, has a painful past. Eli used to be a biker and was about to be a professional one, having won a scholarship at Barcelona. But he gave it all up after the death of his best friend and managed a bike repair shop instead.
Along for the Ride Ending Explained: What Happens between Eli and Auden at the end?
The ending of Along for the Ride sees the characters confront their shortcomings.
When Auden’s father leaves home after a fight with his wife, Auden confronts him with the fact that he had never tried to be a good father or husband in his previous marriage as well.
Auden calls her mom, who counsels a visibly upset Heidi. Having realized his mistake, Auden’s dad comes back home and starts sharing household responsibilities.
Eli organizes a beachside prom night for Auden, which she attends wearing a pretty dress.
Eli, too, learns to confront his past and tries to come out of the painful memories. He resumes biking, much to the delight of Auden.
In the end scene of Along for the Ride, we find Eli writing to Auden from Barcelona. The viewers also witness the coming of age of Auden, who now lives with Maggie, having come out of her mom’s shadow.
Along for the Ride Review: Our Take on the Film
Along for the Ride is an enjoyable ride, especially appealing to teenagers.
Though predictable, the light-hearted story of Along for the Ride makes for a good watch. The picturesque beaches are visually pleasing, and the numbers are pretty catchy as well.
All the teenage as well as adult actors have delivered brilliant performances.
However, the 147-minute duration seemed a tad too long and Along for the Ride seemed to progress a bit too slowly, making one lose interest at times.