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Review Of All Together Now: A True Heartwarmer



Review Of All Together Now: A True Heartwarmer 12

All Together Now(Netflix)

Starring Auliʻi Cravalho,Rhenzy Feliz,Judy Reyes

Directed  by  Brett Haley

Rating: ***

Most films about youngsters  have to do with dating and  various ways  of  doing it without looking frivolous.Skirting the  shallowness  of the teen  flick  All Together Now brings us a sweet-tempered compassionate film about the generosity  of  spirit and  how receiving  requires as much grace as  giving.

The  young heroine Amber,  played with an unassuming wisdom by  Auliʻi Cravalho is  kind  compassionate and  generous  . She spends her time with her  pet dog volunteering for  various  charitable causes, including  regular visits to an old folks’ home where she  distributes donuts and reads to the elderly.

 Now, this cloying scenario  would have collapsed in  a heap of  embarrassing over-sentimentality. It is to director Brett Haley’s credit that he exercises  a firm control over the potential  mawkish  material never glorifying the  hardships that  Amber  so bravely  negotiates.  Most   of these hardship have to do with Amber’s  troubled  alcoholic mother(Judy Reyes) .Homeless and  for  all practical purposes, hopeless,the mother and daughter are  constantly at loggerheads.

 But Amber  never  gives away her  problems. Generous  in  other ways  she is  miserly  about  sharing misery.A  lot  of  the  film’s  casual heft comes from the way Amber’s friends convince her that a support system is  not a resort for the weak,that you don’t lose your dignity by seeking your friend’ help

The  fairytale-like climax may  be  on the  incredulous side. But it had me cheering and  holding back a  tear. Life is  not  about ideal situations. But hell, with a  little of help from our friends  no  crisis is  insurmountable.

While the central  performances  by Auliʻi Cravalho and  Judy Reyes are uplifting  in their  controlled  emotional velocity a  surprise  cameo by veteran comedienne  Carol  Burnett had me choking with  emotions.I grew up watching Ms  Burnett’s incredible  comic timing. Now  at  80-plus she plays a  rich heiress  who finds  a  sense of purpose  so late in life by giving  generously.

This  is the  most feel-good film you will see  this  season, and  the one that  will have you cheering.

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