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'Big Time Adolescence' Review With Casey

Movie Poster for Big Time Adolescence

This film started at Sundance in January 2019 and was fully released to the world on March 13th this year through the personal streaming platform Hulu. Big Time Adolescence is an R-rated, coming-of-age comedy about an awkward teenage boy and his friendship with a pot-smoking, aimless, college dropout in his twenties.

We all know part of growing up involves romance, adventure, and mistakes. But what makes Big Time Adolescence special is how it shows the influences of friendships during youth and how those influences point teenagers in sometimes jarring directions. We've seen from past coming-of-age films; like Booksmart (2019), Mid90s (2018), The Way Way Back (2013), and Superbad (2007); the most important part of youth is being accepted which equals being cool. And what better way to reach that elusive gold star than to befriend someone older than you who appears to have gold stars in spades? The film is a casual, funny, and irreverently honest look at the complex time of boyhood meeting manhood and reckless youth clashing with judgmental maturity.

Both leading male actors embody their roles so well, showing a relationship built on emotional reciprocity as much as it is built on escape from real-world responsibility. Yes, movies like this have been done before (Risky Business from 1983, Thirteen from 2003, or Mean Girls from 2004), but Big Time Adolescence is the first coming-of-age film to show a realistic, entangled, contemporary friendship between 2 men. And both sides of this friendship have wisdom that shouldn't be dismissed. 

The clear star of the film is Pete Davidson, a lanky stand-up comedian from Saturday Night Live, who uses ferocious sarcasm and careless self-centeredness to hide his loneliness and insecurity. He manages to be hilarious and infuriating at the same time.