Written by Maria Athayde
Mixtape, a Netflix film, directed by Valerie Weiss and written by Stacey Meaner is like a warm bowl of chicken noodle soup. Starring Gemma Brooke Allen as Beverly Moody and Julie Bowen as her grandmother and postal service mail carrier. This movie takes place during the turn of the new millennium, in the midst of the Y2K craze, in Spokane, Washington. And is one of those unpretentious Netflix surprises that you find every so often that is equal parts 90s nostalgia and a cure-all for when you are feeling down.
At its core, this movie is about finding oneself, family, and reconnecting with parts of ourselves that we thought we lost. Our protagonist Beverly embarks on a journey of self-discovery when she discovers her parents’ mixtape and attempts to decode the message the tape contains. Beverly believes that listening to her parents’ mixtape will allow her to connect with the parents she never got a chance to meet. Along the way, she befriends Anti (Nick Thune) a record store owner, a new neighbor Ellen (Audrey Hsieh), and bully turned ally Nicky (Olga Pesta).
The movie works because of the killer soundtrack. The awesome tracks by Girls at Our Best, The Blue Hearts, The Stooges, The Quick, and Cheap Trick among others punctuate the movie and propel the story forward. Without them, it wouldn’t work. The young actors also do a good job with the material they are given. The most unbelievable part of this movie was having Julie Bowen play someone’s grandmother although she also does a fine job with the material she’s given. This movie is the perfect pick for a family-friendly night in.