For some it might be easy to think about what is was like being young, but for me the older I get the further away it all seems. While growing up I could relate to movies like The Breakfast Club and Sixteen Candles because that is what my life felt like, minus never going to detention on a Saturday or getting a hold of some girls panties. Even though it wasn’t my story they were telling, I could relate because I was that age in that time and I know my life could have been that cool if John Hughes has written it. Now when I watch a film like Never Goin’ Back all I can do is marvel at a movie that some teenager might be watching thinking the same thing I did about all of those movies when I was growing up.
Angela (Maia Mitchell) and Jessie (Camila Morrone) are two girls that are just getting by in life. Having both dropped out of High School and barely able to afford rent, their only currency being their attitude. The girls though are going to put their problems aside for a weekend at the beach for Jessie’s birthday and all it will require them to do is work a bunch of shifts at their job at a restaurant to make their dream weekend come true. While it might sound easy, it’s far from it in these two girls lives. Everything starts off great with the setting of the plan, but then it all starts to fall apart slowly as life starts to get in the way. From a robbery to some time in jail, nothing can get in the way of their plan until it does. Then just when life has handed them too many lemons they find a way to make lemonade, and while most things might not be perfect for them it is perfect for the time being.
For me what Never Goin’ Back feels like is a story someone can relate to, obviously it is just not me. That though doesn’t mean I didn’t have fun, because if this film is anything is it’s a good time. Some people don’t like to watch others have a good time and there will be a few who will frown on the way these girls live their life, but the thing is it’s a unique perspective from a voice we don’t hear from very often. From first time feature writer/director Augustine Frizzle, Never Goin’ Back feels like someone’s life or maybe even something a generation can relate to. For me, while I enjoyed it at times and had a good time overall, I sometimes felt removed from the story which hurt my overall enjoyment. A movie like this shouldn’t connect with me and I am ok with that, but for a group of people out there this will be their Sixteen Candles and that is all that matters.