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‘Big Time Adolescence’ Delivers the Kind of Comfort Food Viewers Are Looking For – Review

Nothing seems more tailored made for an at-home viewing experience than a short and sweet coming-of-age comedy. Netflix would be the first to harp about the success they’ve had with these high school tales (To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before is one of their most watched films), and now, Hulu seems to have a well-suited comedy that may find an audience looking for a distraction during these trying times.

Big Time Adolescence is the directorial debut of screenwriter, Jason Orley, giving us the story of Mo (Griffin Gluck) a wide-eyed, 16-year-old, that idolizes former high school cool guy, Zeke (Pete Davidson), who befriends him during his tenure as his sister’s boyfriend. Zeke is the older brother Mo never had. He gives him his first beer, takes him to R-rated movies, and was the only figure in his life who would speak to him like an adult. It’s not hard to see the offbeat charm of Zeke, since Davidson seems to have tapped into his characters from Saturday Night Live that always seem to be an exaggerated version of himself. Zeke takes a mentorship role over Mo, which, ironically enough, proves to be the conflict throughout the movie. The more time Mo spends with Zeke, the more he seems to be getting in trouble.

Machine Gun Kelly, Omar Shariff Brunson Jr. and Pete Davidson in Big Time Adolescence (Courtesy of Hulu)

The film is certainly predictable yet it demonstrates a unique charm; mainly due to the brotherly chemistry of the two protagonists, who deliver a naturalistic dialogue and genuinely funny situational moments throughout. There’s nothing inspiringly original, but what is refreshing is the subtle ways the film delivers its message of “growing up.” Mo doesn’t have a spectacular break-up with his counterfeit brother, and there’s no argument scene spelling out how Mo feels that Zeke is a bad influence. He simply chooses to spend his time elsewhere. 

The simple accomplishment of being an enjoyable, coming-of-age story is key to its reception. The majority of the US, and the world, are stuck inside while attempting to emotionally overcome this difficult moment in history. What better than a fun film that doesn’t require too much effort from a quarantined audience? The negative connotation of “TV movie” still lingers around streaming services, but that is exactly what Big Time Adolescence is. Is there anything that sounds better right now?

Big Time Adolescence is now streaming on Hulu! Check out the trailer below:

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