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Big Time Adolescence (2019)

Updated on June 22, 2020

Big Time Adolescence (2019) review

These days, streaming sites pump out a lot of movies, and I am always skeptical that they are going for quantity over quality. When it comes to comedies, most of the time my fears are warranted by rushed, bland movies with no humor or even substance. Luckily, this film was a bit of a welcome change to what I am used to from streaming services. I felt like this movie was all around pretty good. It had a lot of heart, which was an unexpected treat that I didn’t see coming.

Big Time Adolescence (2019) is a comedy / drama written and directed by Jason Orley and starring Pete Davidson and Griffin Gluck. When high school freshman “Moe” (Gluck) starts hanging out with his older sister’s ex-boyfriend Zeke (Davidson), he starts to grow up way too fast. When Zeke starts getting Moe into trouble, Moe has to decide what is really important in life.

In my opinion, the acting in this film was top notch. Pete Davidson shined as Zeke, a laid-back stoner loser who carelessly parties his way through life. Although he did a great job in this role, I kind of feel like Davidson might be a one trick pony on the big screen, but I hope he proves me wrong in the future.

I think Griffin Gluck gave the best performance in the movie. For being such a young actor, he really showed a range of emotion in this role and I have a feeling we will see more of this kid. I found myself relating to his character and recognizing the emotion he portrayed when he was accepted by the “cool” kids, something anyone can relate to at some point in their lives.

My one bit of critique has to do with the script and the ending. Without giving anything away, the resolution of the plot felt a little off to me. I feel like sometimes filmmakers add a touch of what they consider “realism” to a movie, to make it seem like something that could really happen. That does work, but sometimes people watch movies because they want that fake happy ending. In essence they want to be lied to. This movie would have been better with a less realistic, more optimistic ending in my opinion.

As a whole, I really enjoyed this movie. Davidson and Gluck both stood out to me in their performances, and I truly believe we just started seeing Griffin Gluck on screen. For Davidson, he was great in this film and he is hilarious on SNL but I think his movie career will be a short one, I see him only appearing in comedies few and far between. I would recommend this movie to anyone who could use a good story with some heart and some laughter, and maybe a little something to teach you too.

Film trivia

  • This film was shot in New York.
  • It debuted at the Sundance Film Festival on January 28, 2019 and released on Hulu on March 13, 2020.
  • This is Pete Davidson's first starring role.
  • Thomas Barbusca and his on-screen sister are actually brother and sister in real life.
  • Hulu paid 4 million dollars for the rights to this film.
  • Despite returning his hair to its natural brown after filming this movie, Pete Davidson's bleach-blonde hair remained in the opening credits of SNL for multiple reasons, since the credits were filmed while he was working on the movie.
  • It was initially meant to be released for streaming in the US on Hulu on March 20, 2020, following a theatrical release in select cinemas on March 13th, but this was moved up a week likely as a result of coronavirus related closures.


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