Going into this one, I didn’t have very many expectations. I saw it while scrolling through my Netflix feed and upon discovering that Auli’i Cravalho of Moana fame was the lead star, my interest was peaked. Especially because I assumed she would be singing. What I didn’t bargain for was a much deeper story about loss, love and life. It kind of hit me like a ton of bricks if I’m being honest.
Amber (Auli’i Cravalho) and her mother Becky (Justina Machado) are left homeless. When Amber’s dad passed away, Becky struggled to make ends met and fell into an abusive relationship. Five months later, Amber is doing what she can to protect her mom who seems to be back on the mend. Working part time at the elderly home and the local doughnut shop as well as helping out at the home of one of her best friends, Amber one day she hopes to leave it all behind to go to Carnegie Mellon to pursue her dream of singing.
But life happens and Amber comes close to losing absolutely everything. Trying to prepare for her upcoming audition suddenly doesn’t seem like top priority when everything else keeps crashing down around her. Feeling like she is alone, Amber is anything but. Her friends want to help, but will she let them?
This one was heavy. Definitely a lot sadder than I thought it was going to be. Seeing Amber struggle and seemingly lose all that she had really made me feel for her. However, despite the more emotional nature of the film, there were some uplifting moments and it was wonderful to see how everyone came together at the end of the day. In a way, it gave me hope that there are still some nice, genuine people out there who are willing to go above and beyond in times of need.
I learned a lot while watching this. Auli’i’s portrayal was so realistic that I felt like I was watching myself at times. Amber being able to overcome her problems was inspiring and I only wish I can be as brave as she was going forward.
If you are feeling down, out and lost, I recommend turning All Together Now on your screening devices. I’m sure that it will help give you a different perspective on whatever it is you are going through.