Nate (Rueby Wood) believes he’s destined to be a Broadway star. He knows the lines from all his favourite musicals, sings and dances – but he doesn’t get a chance to perform in the school play.
When his best friend, Libby (Aria Brooks), finds out about an audition in New York, the pair comes up a plan to go. Nate’s parents are away for the weekend and his brother, Anthony (Joshua Bassett), is busy with a football game. But Nate and Libby soon realise that getting to New York is the easy part. Winning over the casting agents, producers and directors proves much more difficult, especially when random parents and mean rivals try to sabotage Nate’s chances.
Nevertheless, Nate scores a call-back and sets off to find his Aunt Heidi (Lisa Kudrow), hoping that she’ll help him realise his dreams. But finding his aunt in such a big city is easier said than done.
With his charm, talent and knack for creative problem-solving, plus a little help from family and friends, Nate might just be able to make his dreams come true.
Bullying; gender stereotypes; finding your identity; family estrangement and misunderstandings
Better Nate Than Ever has some violence. For example:
- A bully grabs Nate by the backpack and won’t let him sit on the bus. Nate accidentally elbows the bully in the face. At school the bully threatens to kill Nate. He says, ‘Watch your back’, while slowly drawing a finger across his throat.
- All the kids laugh at Nate and make fun of him while he does his final audition.
Better Nate Than Ever has some sexual references. For example:
- There are numerous suggestions about Nate’s sexuality. He wears lip gloss, knows all the lyrics to musicals, doesn’t have romantic feelings towards girls and so on.
- Nate says that he has a ‘pornographic’ memory instead of a photographic memory.
Alcohol, drugs and other substances
There’s no use of substances in Better Nate Than Ever.
Nudity and sexual activity
Better Nate Than Ever has some nudity and sexual activity. For example, teenagers try to kiss at a party.
The following products are displayed or used in Better Nate Than Ever: Starbucks, Apple iPhones, Tiktok and Lilo and Stitch.
Better Nate Than Ever has some mild coarse language, including ‘crap’, ‘idiot’ and ‘loser’.
Ideas to discuss with your children
Better Nate Than Ever is a feel-good musical adventure about following your dreams. It’s based on the book by Tim Federle. Pre-teens are likely to enjoy it most.
These are the main messages from Better Nate Than Ever:
- With persistence and passion, you can make your dreams come true.
- Stars are everywhere. Sometimes they’re just hard to see.
Values in Better Nate Than Ever that you could reinforce with your children include determination, enthusiasm, courage, persistence, friendship and forgiveness.
Better Nate Than Ever could also give you the chance to talk with your children about the real-life consequences of things like:
- leaving home without telling anyone where you’re going
- trying to make your way around a strange city on your own
- bullying others or trying to sabotage them
- refusing to talk or communicate with the people you love
- judging others based on their sexuality.