Disney+ Better Nate Than Ever is a sweet story of acceptance and following one’s dreams. Check out the details in my parents guide movie review.
Disney+ Better Nate Than Ever comes to the streaming service this Friday, April 1st. The film is based on the popular book series by Tim Federle and stars newcomer Reuby Woods as Nate, Lisa Kudrow, and Joashua Bassett. The movie comes at a perfect time, considering a major theme in the film is about acceptance for being different, and the main character is very much a part of the LGBTQ+ community. Check out all the details in my parents guide movie review.
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Better Nate Than Ever Parents Guide
In “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 Age Appropriate Parents Guide
Let’s take a look at what parents need to know before letting their kids watch Better Nate Than Ever.
Language: Better Nate Than Ever contains mild language, with some lookout words that parents need to be made aware of. These include: crap, idiot, punk, and loser.
Mature Content: The film has strong themes revolving around bullying, which may be triggering for some viewers. It also includes underaged kids leaving home without their parents’ permission to go to New York City alone and audition for a part in a Broadway musical. There is also a scene that implies sex; the parents of Nate are away celebrating their anniversary.
Disney+’s Better Nate Than Ever comes at an interesting time for Disney, as the company has recently received a huge amount of backlash from the public, as well as from employees, for CEO Bob Chapek’s stance on the Florida “Don’t Say Gay” bill. As a company, Disney has always been a leader in standing up for minorities, including LGBTQ+ rights, so it was a huge shock to hear the opposite message against the bill. They indeed stayed silent. That is, until employees began to speak up after a controversial email sent out by Chapek, which stated the company wanted to stay neutral on these issues and instead let their work speak for itself. While this stance goes against the history of Disney on these sorts of political issues (remember the Georgia boycott over their anti-LGBTQ+ bill?), their work does indeed speak out for these minorities. Better Nate Than Ever actually never says the word “gay” in the film, but the message of acceptance rang loud and clear.
Better Nate Than Ever has some big names attached to the film, including Lisa Kudrow and Joshua Bassett. Tim Federle, the film’s writer and director, has previously directed Bassett in High School Musical: The Musical: The Series. When working on HSMTMTS season 2, Federle told Bassett that he would love for him to play Anthony, Nate’s older brother, in the film. After reading the script, Bassett was hooked. Considering this film is based on a Broadway musical, it was a bit strange to see Bassett in the movie without a singing role. This never took away from the movie, and lead character Nate, played by newcomer Rueby Wood, made up for it with his Broadway tunes and showmanship.
Lisa Kudrow plays Aunt Heidi, Nate’s semi-estranged aunt who is a Broadway veteran herself, in Better Nate Than Ever. This casting may seem a bit strange to Friends fans, as we have seen Kudrow’s singing ability with her rendition of “Smelly Cat” on her hit show. Luckily, audiences will not have to endure hearing Kudrow sing in the movie, but she does bring some much-needed comedy to the role. Kudrow has one of those talents for being funny without even trying, and the one-liners and facial expressions she brought to the role were a welcome treat.
For Broadway musical fans, Better Nate Than Ever is very much a film for you. Even the star of the film, Rueby Wood, who is a newcomer to the big screen, has a background in stage performances and it shows. Woods has the vocal talent, spunk, and total flair for the part, which pairs perfectly with the character he plays in the film. Perhaps it was destiny, or perhaps the film’s writer/director, Tim Federle, who also wrote the 2013 novel of the same name on which this movie was based, had a hand in the coincidence. Either way, this is one musical the whole family will sing about for days to come.