Saturday, June 16, 2018

Movie Review: "Dude" (2018)

Director: Olivia Milch
Year: 2018
Rating: TV-MA
Running Time: 1 hour, 30 minutes

A group of marijuana-loving teens prepares for their future as they approach the end of high school.
"These people taking shits are a very captive audience." (Image Source)
High school is coming to an end for this group of teens, and that can only mean one thing: ~*DRaMaAaAaAaAa!*~ "Dude" is the feature film debut of writer/director Olivia Milch, who also wrote "Ocean's 8." The film stars Lucy Hale as Lily, who is on track to go to Columbia University and is valedictorian of her graduating class despite spending most her days getting high with her friends Chloe (Kathryn Prescott), Amelia (Alexandra Shipp), and Rebecca (Awkwafina), and many of her nights getting drunk at parties. At the end of her junior year, her boyfriend/Chloe's brother Thomas (Austin Butler) was killed in a car accident. Now, it's one year later and senior year is coming to a close. Lily is still struggling to get over the loss while she refuses to begin new relationships. She fears that once high school is over, she will lose touch with all her friends. Besides being perpetually stoned, she tries to cope by keeping busy and controlling everything and everyone in her life until it all kind of blows up in her face.
"For someone who is so nice, you're actually kind of a bitch." (Image Source)
What we have here is a mostly formulaic coming-of-age drama. It follows the trend of portraying young women as people who like to smoke weed, who drink booze, who talk dirty, who enjoy sex, and who use their menstruation as an excuse to get out of trouble or out of class. This is not a big deal to us in the slightest, but we've noticed it has already been becoming a bit of a new movie cliche. The film focuses primarily on the character of Lily, who is a bit of a control freak and tries to shape her and her friends' futures to suit her own needs. The next biggest focus is on Lily's best friend Chloe, who is thinking of attending UCSB instead of NYU, which is what Lily wants her to do and what they have had planned for years. The other two friends are just there in much more minor roles to make racially-motivated quips about how they are Lily and Chloe's minority friends. Seriously, that's all they get to do. Rebecca fantasizes about an inappropriate relationship with her philosophy teacher and goes as far as masturbating while thinking of him in a high school bathroom stall. The philosophy teacher also flirts with Rebecca on the regular, though he does have the courtesy to at least wait until a few minutes after graduation to make his actual move and ask her out. As for Amelia, she just sits around complaining about how the guy she is fucking is cheating on her. There is also a rape scene that is completely glossed over, which didn't sit well with us. It isn't taken seriously, there are no real ramifications that stem from the incident, and it is brushed aside in favor of more weed smoking and dick jokes. We don't think this is the right message for Olivia Milch to send to the people who are going to wind up watching this movie and it was absolutely startling to see this play out the way it did.
"How could you be friends with someone who didn't know Thomas?" (Image Source)
The script is full of cringey dialogue and lines that are supposed to be spoken by teenagers but sound absolutely nothing like anything a teenager would ever least we hope they don't. The pacing of this film is terribly slow, and the movie winds up being a total slog because of it. The characters aren't likable in the slightest. They feel unrealistic, so in turn, they aren't that relatable. We wound up waiting for the movie to end while getting nothing from this story.

As someone who has been a teenage girl in the past, I never experienced three-fourths of these problems in four years of high school, whereas these kids go through a multitude more in just a week's time. We know this is a work of fiction, but come on. At least make it *a little* believable and *a little* less grating. In the end, "Dude" is a total pain to get through. Even though it's free to watch on Netflix, it still isn't worth the time you'll waste viewing it. You'll never get those minutes back.

My Rating: 1.5/10
BigJ's Rating: 2/10
IMDB's Rating: ~5.2/10
RT Rating: ---%
Do we recommend this movie: AVOID LIKE THE PLAGUE!!!

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  1. Thank you for being a voice of reason in what is ending up being a completely idiotic generation as this movie so likes to show..Don't plan on plan seeing it and have to say am very disappointed in Netflix's choice and production of movies lately...I too never did even half of what this movie suggests and honestly I don't know why there's this certain trend to make movies showing people ;.especially the younger ones being completely idiotic and making horrible horrible choices and then getting away with cause we all know that so happens in real life...You would think people would be more responsible about the movies they advertise as there is already enough messed up crap in the world as is...Definitely won't be watching this one..Let's just hope Netflix gets their head on straight and starts making better movies (the last one I watched was so bad I didn't even finish it...) FYI though "when we first meet" produced by Netflix is probably the only good one worth watching...

    1. Hello, Unknown!

      First off, we're sorry you didn't like this movie. It's easy to see why. Netflix has a penchant for what appears to be "cheap crap," and "Dude" certainly fits the bill. Again, we're not opposed to seeing young girls and women in roles where they like to have fun and party, but when a film is content on dismissing actual crimes like rape without so much as a moment's acknowledgement? No thank you.

      We have yet to check out "When We First Met," maybe we will get around to it soon! Another film we liked came out just last week called "Set It Up" with Lucy Liu, Taye Diggs, Glen Powell, and Zoey Deutch starring. It's not the best movie ever, but it's a lot of fun and leans on its charismatic leads for success.

      Lolo & BigJ

  2. Thank you for your review! I was really starting to think I was the only one that hating this film. I have my own review of Dude on my blog, and I felt like we both took it apart as best as we could to try to explain why this isn't a good piece to watch-because it's not. My wife and I are Lucy Hale fans, and we were both disappointed that she was in this.

    1. Hi, Cinema Slayer!

      Thanks for taking the time to read our review. It seems like we are in the minority when it comes to our thoughts about "Dude," doesn't it? It's a bummer because the ladies in this cast are capable of SO MUCH MORE than this! Hopefully, they move swiftly along to bigger, better things.

      Going to check out your review now. :)

      ~Lolo & BigJ