An adaptation of the Mathew Quick novel All Together Now (also similar to the movie title) the movie shines with the portrayal of human selflessness. Amber Appleton (Auli’i Cravalho, who also appeared in movies like Moana and the animation Ralph Breaks the Internet) a volunteer at a teaching ESL, a job at an old people’s home and an innate giver and do-gooder. Despite the fact that she’s concealing a dreary reality which in turn matches her personality as seen in the story. Being the one everyone calls in the time of need and even more importantly the one who selflessly gives herself to people who are in need of help. The story is perfectly directed almost devoid of flaws and with impeccable soundtrack. The movie director Brett Haley clearly finished off an emotional masterpiece with this one.
Auli’i Cravalho is an emotional fortress.
What first gets viewers in Amber’s pure vulnerability yet solid resolve. Battling parental issues like a late father and a mom tottering on the brinks of alcohol yet trying to hold it all together in lights of an abusive and terrible stepfather. Apart from the whole dreary reality on the other side of things Amber seems to have it all together or rather on a more personal view she feels she has it under control and it takes the observation of one good friend, Ricky (Anthony Jacques) to see that she’s drowning silently. The whole plot connects to the viewer because it is down to earth in all aspects and very much relatable to certain people we all know or even yourself. Ricky’s and Amber’s ‘friendship’ is quite undecided from the onset of the movie disregard the notion of her getting him a sandwich every morning, leaving a loud observation from another friend that she might have a thing for him. Their friendship or bond rather is basal, not noticeable when they are with friends but deep down everyone just knows it’s there. This leaves us yearning for some affirmation. I could say Amber stealing a kiss with him at the end of the movie was rather inadequate. Still, All Together Now is actually not a movie about romance but a movie that’s about friendship and selflessness. Firstly, opening off with the character of a girl who is seemingly naïve as seen in the beginning of the movie but as the clock rolls, we begin to see that Amber is a fighter underneath. A major example being her rather emotionless reaction to news of her mother and stepfather’s demise.
All Together Now Trailer.
It’s almost an attack of the feels, from hit to hit, suffering (maybe similar to Five Feet Apart) loss after loss and we the viewers are left with all the waterworks as the antagonist is a rather thick-skinned persona. All Together Now asks the core questions of true friendship and reaching out or better still, fighting for a friend who’s in need but due to certain reasons avoids help from people. Amber’s relationship with her mother is a rather misunderstood one or rather, on the brinks of estrangement because whether it’s Amber’s seeming impassiveness or her mother’s alcohol addiction and rather impulsiveness it’s quite easy to spot that there’s a tug of war at play as to who gives in to the other even though they are seeming quite close Amber seems to not feel so even at her behest. Despite all this, people eventually come through for her, it’s a rather emotional and beautiful story of forgiving oneself and accepting love. The movie hooks your attention emotionally as you coast through and find out it’s not your average emotional movie but one of tough love, forgiveness and the best of friendships.