Starring: Auliʻi Cravalho, Rhenzy Feliz, Justina Machado, Fred Armisen, Carol Burnett, Judy Reyes, Taylor Richardson, Gerald Isaac Waters, Anthony Jacques, C.S. Lee
OUR RATING: ★★★☆☆
Netflix’s drama directed and co-written by Brett Haley. The story centers on Amber Appleton (Auli’i Cravalho), an optimistic musically gifted high school student with aspirations. Amber balances her high school drama club, helmed by Mr. Franks (Fred Armisen), with working long hours at a donut shop to help support herself and her single mom, Beky (Justina Machado). She also spends time at the local retirement community, giving care and attention to her favorite resident, Joan (Carol Burnett). When new obstacles present themselves that threaten her dreams, Amber must learn to lean on the strength of her chosen family to move forward.
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Our Favorite Quotes:'Hope is the thing with feathers. That perches in the soul. And sings the tune without the words. And never stops at all.' - Amber Appleton (All Together Now) Click To Tweet 'Life is so much more complicated than you think.'- Becky (All Together Now) Click To Tweet
Amber Appleton: You’re late. Where have you been?
Becky: I know, I know. But I brought you something. Look. Got you some dinner.
[Amber opens the box to find a piece of cake]
Amber Appleton: This is dessert.
Becky: Who says dessert can’t be dinner?
Amber Appleton: Nutritionists?
Becky: You telling me nutritionists don’t like cheesecake?
Becky: This is a way to get us some dinner.
Amber Appleton: This isn’t dinner, mom. You were supposed to look at apartments, not get cheesecake from Oliver.
Becky: Well, that’s all that he could give me, so I took it. And I’m sorry that it’s not good enough for you.
[Amber reads from her book as they sleep on a school bus]
Amber Appleton: “Hope is the thing with feathers. That perches in the soul. And sings the tune without the words. And never stops at all. And sweetest in the gale is heard. And sore must be the storm. That could abash the little bird. That kept so many warm. I’ve heard it in the chillest land, and on the strangest sea…”
Becky: “Yet, never, in extremity, it asked a crumb of me. Sore must be the storm.” Some storm we’re in, huh, baby?
Amber Appleton: Yeah.
Becky: I’m sorry.
Amber Appleton: It’s not your fault.
Becky: We’re going to be okay.
Amber Appleton: Okay? Way to aim low, Mom. We’re going to be awesome. We’re going to be spectacular.
Becky: That’s my girl.
Amber Appleton: Good morning, Joan.
Joan: “Good” is a matter of opinion.
Amber Appleton: Well, here’s a fact. Rainbow sprinkled donut. The best donut, and I saved it for you.
Joan: Mm-mm. No, no.
Amber Appleton: Okay. I’ll eat it.
[as Amber goes to eat, Joan stops her and gets her to put the donut in front of her]
Amber Appleton: Ooh. You want to hear a joke?
Joan: That’s a no.
Amber Appleton: You’re going to laugh this time. Ready? What do you call a fish with no eyes? Fsh!
[Joan gives her a stern look]
Amber Appleton: Careful, Joan. One of these days, I will make you laugh.
Joan: Not if I make you cry first.
Amber Appleton: You couldn’t make me cry if you tried.
Ricky: My BB-8 clock said 7:12. Yesterday, it was 7:13. Tuesday, it was 7:14.
Amber Appleton: What’s your point?
Ricky: You’re waking me up a minute earlier every day.
Amber Appleton: You’re on to me. The master plan is to eventually wake you up at 4 AM.
Ricky: Then midnight?
Amber Appleton: Then yesterday.
Ricky: Before I even go to sleep! Which would totally suck. But might be sort of cool, because then we could eat breakfast together and stay up all night.
[as Jordan is reading a book by Gabriel Garcia Marquez]
Ricky: Hey, Jordan, is that a coloring book? Because there are Marquez all over the pages.
[referring to the breakfast sandwich she gives Ty as he takes them to school in his van]
Amber Appleton: Well, he’s the only one with access to a car.
Ty: Yes, thank you. Access.
Jordan: Call it a vehicle.
Chad: I still fail to see how any of this warrants a sandwich.
Jordan: Thank you.
Chad: I’m just saying.
Ricky: I think Amber’s got a crush on Ty. That’s why she makes him a sandwich.
[referring to their school’s marching band]
Chad: Okay, but who steals a tuba?
Ricky: Someone who’s really horny for it.
Jordan: It’s technically a sousaphone. You could get a lot of cash for one on the dark web.
Ty: So I’ve been trying to text you, but I keep on getting delivery failure.
Amber Appleton: Yeah. That’s a whole thing. I lost my phone, and I haven’t had a chance to get a new one yet.
Ty: I was hoping we could have, like a private conversation.
Amber Appleton: Cell phones aren’t private. It’s much better to stay off-grid. Plus, I’m the only teenager in all of America who doesn’t have a cell phone. How cool is that?
Ty: Not cool at all?
Mr. Franks: Wow, look at that!
Amber Appleton: Does that mean that I…
Mr. Franks: Yeah. You’re being asked to audition at Carnegie Mellon. Amber’s going to Pittsburgh. Look!
Jordan: Of course she is.
Ty: That’s amazing.
Chad: No way! This is your dream, Amber.
Jordan: That’s incredible! Oh, my God!
[referring to Becky’s boyfriend, Oliver]
Becky: He has a good side.
Amber Appleton: Yeah, and a bad side.
Becky: We’re going to get caught. And it is getting cold outside.
Amber Appleton: I’d rather freeze my a** off on a bus than go back to Oliver’s.
Becky: [to Amber] No one can find out about us. You understand? Because if they do, I’ll lose you.
[referring to Amber being invited to audition for Carnegie Mellon]
Becky: How does it work? You sing for them?
Amber Appleton: Yeah. And then they crush my dreams.
Becky: They won’t. You’re going to be great.
Amber Appleton: How am I even going to get to Pittsburgh?
Becky: You’ve been saving money, right?
Amber Appleton: Yeah, for an apartment, not some stupid audition.
Becky: No, you buy that ticket. Because this is your dream.
[as Amber is playing chess with Joan]
Joan: So what’s with you today? You’re not yapping all over the game like you usually do.
Amber Appleton: Nothing. I’m just thinking.
Joan: About that boyfriend of yours?
Amber Appleton: I don’t have a boyfriend. Ty’s a friend. We’re buds.
Joan: “Buds”. Buds, yeah.
Joan: Have you hooked up with him yet?
Amber Appleton: Joan!
Joan: Get over it, and quit wasting your time thinking. Youth is precious, so you should enjoy it.
Amber Appleton: That’s the most positive thing I think I’ve ever heard you say.
Joan: Well, it’s just another way of saying that life is nasty, brutish, and short. And then you die.
Amber Appleton: That’s my Joanie.
Amber Appleton: Okay, Ricky. Egg puns. Go.
Ricky: Oh, um, okay. Well, I only know a few, so this will be over easy. Omelet, you use that one if you want.
Amber Appleton: Okay.
Ricky: You can poach it.
Amber Appleton: Ooh, nice.
Ricky: Yeah, it’s funny, because I usually only eat eggs around hollandaise.
[referring to the school variety show]
Amber Appleton: Okay. So, Ricky’s going to do a pun-off.
Ricky: Put me down as Lingo Starr.
Amber Appleton: I love it.
[for the school variety show]
Jordan: I’ll be performing an Argentine tango.
Ricky: An Argentine tango.
Chad: Well, I can finally tell you my sister watches a little too much Dancing with the Stars.
Jordan: A, That is a lie. B, please put me down for an Argentine tango.
Chad: You do realize it takes two human beings to tango, right?
Jordan: Put me down as, “Jordan and TBD.”
[referring to the school variety show]
Amber Appleton: Okay. Uh, Franksie?
Mr. Franks: Me? No. This is for you guys. I’m not going to get involved.
Amber Appleton: What? Are you kidding?
Ricky: Come on, man. Really?
Chad: You have to help us out.
Ricky: Do it.
Mr. Franks: Are you sure?
Amber Appleton: Yes, we’re sure.
Mr. Franks: Alright. I’ll think of something. “All the world’s a stage. The end!” Right? Is that what it is? I don’t know. I have work to do, guys.
Amber Appleton: What’s going on?
[referring to her employees finding out about them sleeping on the school bus]
Becky: They found out.
Amber Appleton: Who found out?
Becky: Who do you think? I got fired.
[after sleeping on a bark bench and waking up to find her backpack stolen]
Amber Appleton: I don’t know what to do, Ty. My mom’s going to be looking for me, and I can’t go back to Oliver’s.
Ty: Let’s just, let’s think about this, okay? Today’s Saturday. We don’t have school on Monday. I have an idea. Just trust me, okay?
[after Ty let’s Amber stay as his family vacation home; referring to the song]
Ty: “Feels Like Home.”
Amber Appleton: My dad wrote it. He was an amazing musician. And singer.
Ty: Runs in the family, I guess.
[after she sings “Feels Like Home”]
Amber Appleton: How did I sound?
Ty: Terrible. I’m sorry, but you have zero talent. It was just, that was embarrassing. I was embarrassed for you.
Amber Appleton: [laughing] Yeah, you’re the worst.
[to Ty, referring to her father]
Amber Appleton: He wrote that song for my mom. I was twelve. It was a heart thing. Never even knew anything was wrong with it. My mom tried to keep it together. She just didn’t have any family around. So little by little, things started to go downhill.
[after Amber tells him the story of her father’s death]
Ty: We’re going to figure something out, alright?
Amber Appleton: Yeah.
Donna: Amber wants you to know she doesn’t feel comfortable living at Oliver’s.
Becky: Oh. So you two talked about everything, huh? Well, it may not be comfortable, but that is where we live now.
Amber Appleton: I don’t want to live there again. I don’t feel safe.
Becky: You felt safer living on a bus?
Amber Appleton: Donna says I can stay here for a few nights, until we figure this out.
Becky: No. Absolutely not. No!
Donna: It’s okay, Becky.
Becky: No, it’s not! Who do you think you are? Really? It is not okay! She is my daughter. She stays with me!
Becky: If you keep her here, I’m calling the cops.
Donna: Well, maybe that’s not a bad idea. Maybe we all need to have a conversation about this.
Becky: I’m the mother. I’m the one that keeps things together.
Amber Appleton: Really, mom? You do that? I had no idea.
Becky: I’m trying. You can’t see that I’m trying to take care of you? I’m doing my best.
Amber Appleton: Well, your best isn’t good enough!
Becky: Okay. Then stay here. Stay here for the rest of your life for all I care.
Amber Appleton: You need help. And we can get you help. We can start over.
Becky: Start over. Life is so much more complicated than you think, baby.
[Becky then drives off]
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