I had the pleasure of watching Netflix’s All Together Now this week with my kids and fell in love with the movie. Whenever I can watch a movie with my kids and have them all enthralled, it’s a win-win (especially with teenagers). After watching this movie I had the pleasure to interview (via ZOOM) director Brett Haley (All The Bright Places, Hearts Beat Loud) and Auli’i Cravalho (who plays Amber Appleton).
6 Reasons Why You Should Watch – All Together Now
Just so you have a little background on All Together Now… Amber Appleton (Auli’i Cravalho) remains an optimist even when her personal life is far less stable than it appears on the surface. A musically gifted high school student with aspirations to attend Carnegie Mellon, Amber balances work, life, and some tough life secrets with a smile. But when new obstacles present themselves that threaten her dreams, Amber must learn to lean on the strength of her chosen family to move forward.
I’ll be honest with you, the second I saw the trailer for All Together Now it “got” me.
But it’s nothing like actually seeing the movie. The movie made me laugh, cry and want to hold onto my children as close as can be. There’s something about being a parent while watching this movie, it just moved me. It made me look at my children and really want to be able to give them the world. That’s the best way I can describe how I walked away from this movie. I just want their dreams to come true in life.
As I’m thinking about the movie and the incredible interview opportunity with Brett and Auli’i, I came up with 5 reasons from the interviews and the movie why you need to make sure you tune into All Together Now on Netflix.
1) First off, Carol Burnett is in All Together Now. I feel like I need to address this statement first! I saw her in the trailer and I sat right up in my seat! Carol is iconic, so the second I saw her – I knew this movie had to be magical. I don’t want to give too much away as to who she plays or her relationship with Amber, but it’s FANTASTIC (she’s FANTASTIC!).
We asked Brett what it was like working with her and he said what I hoped and dreamed he would say, “Well, Carol Burnett is… you would think she would be amazing to work with, she’s even better than that. Auli’i and I were very intimidated and starstruck by Carol. I remember we went to her hotel to meet her and we were like you know giddy kids like meeting and she was so kind and warm and lovely we sat and this lovely chat with her. We were just so overwhelmed by her spirit, her generosity and obviously her talent.”
So yes, you must see Carol.
2) Auli’i’s voice is of an angel. Just wait until you hear the singing. I didn’t say this during our interview, but we have the Moana soundtrack on loop here. That one song, “How Far I’ll Go” that Auli’i sings is my favorite by far. To hear this young woman with a gift as powerful and as inspiring as this, it a treat all within itself. Brett chose well.
3) The themes in this movie are strong and deep. I feel like this is the biggest takeaway for me and hopefully for my sons and daughter, too. I asked Brett what he wanted to people to leave this movie feeling and his answer gave me goosebumps.
There was one line in the movie that just did it for me and I asked Brett about it, “The pain you are feeling, channel it.”
“The themes are really important, and that call back that line that Fred says there’s a very similar one in a film I made called Hearts Beat Loud, where Nick Offerman tells Kiersey Clemons you know ‘turn your conundrums into art.’ I like to remind people that the bad that happens in life we can make good out of it, the whole lemons into lemonade we can. We all have our own ability to turn a bad situation into a good one and that is the only thing we can do sometimes when we go through this thing called life and it’s difficult, and we are lacking. It’s like we can turn it around, we can. We are resilient.”
Such a great message for everyone to take away from this movie.
4) This movie is for everyone, not just teens. I know that when you first see the trailer and the images of the movie you think teens. I’ll be honest, I did – which is why I had them watch it with me. But this movie is for any age, anywhere. The themes and the takeaways are universal for everyone. I appreciate a movie that brings to its audience just a really good story.
As Brett said, “I wanted to have a universal appeal to some degree.”
5) You just need to WATCH this movie because of the character of Amber and her story. All Toegther Now is based on Matthew Quick’s novel Sorta Like a Rock Star. I’ve never read the book, but I read a little about it before seeing the movie. You fall in love with Amber. You root for her. You want her to succeed. You want her to overcome the circumstances in her way.
I loved hearing Auli’i talk about connecting with Amber.
“I love Amber. I thought that she had a lot of hope and resilience, and I love that her story had hardships, it had difficulties, but her circumstances didn’t hold her back from her dreams and her aspirations so that is my I love the musical element in this.”
One GREAT lesson in this movie is being OK to ask for help when you need it and I loved that about this movie, too.
6) I love that the cast is so diverse. It was wonderful to see this on the screen and even more amazing to hear Auli’i talk about this, too.
“It was awesome. Like it was really, really great to work in an environment where like creative expression is just that like it doesn’t matter who it’s coming from everyone’s ideas are heard. And working with Brett… like if it doesn’t feel true to your character like it’s always a discussion. Like that is truly lacking in some sets that I have been on and my career hasn’t spanned very long, so like let’s just say that.
But yes, I am so proud of our cast. We all really connected as friends. We are differently-abled, and non-neurotypical and people of color. It felt real like that was actually diversity not like diverse like that was diversity, guys. It was so fun, and it felt great. Like it felt like I was listened to.”
Make sure you tune on into this movie, it premieres on Netflix tonight (August 28).