"Big Time Adolescence" Review: Feels Like a True to Life Coming of Age Story

Stuck at home and desperately seeking new content to stream? Enter Hulu to the rescue! Of course, it was set for Hulu before "quarren-streaming" was a thing, but our Disney overlords of content decided to move it up a week and release it on the platform March 13. In case you are completely unaware of this film, Big Time Adolescence premiered at Sundance 2019 (originally a Black List script from 2014), written and directed by Jason Orley and starring Pete Davidson and Griffin Gluck.

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Big Time Adolescence Movie Review

What – you don't think resident SNL kid Pete Davidson can hold his own in a feature film? But what if, plot twist, he's playing exactly the type of character you think he'd be?

Big Time Adolescence is a low-key coming of age film where Mo (Gluck) latches onto his sister's boyfriend, Zeke (Davidson). They break up, but Mo, having no friends his age, continues to hang out with the older (and by default, cooler) Zeke. Years go by, and Mo has gone from 9 to 16 – and his best friend is still the now 20-something stoner burnout Zeke.

Of course, everybody else looks at their brother-type relationship as problematic, which it absolutely turns out to be, but that doesn't make Zeke the bad guy. Well, not entirely. I'm not going to spoil anything about this film, because you should absolutely see it for yourself, but it brings up a lot of moral questions and nostalgia for that point in life, whether you see your experiences more in Zeke or Mo.

Where this deviates from others in the genre is that this movie feels like life did growing up – not some glossy Hollywood portrayal of youth or a nostalgia-heavy period piece about kids. I watched it with my roommate, and at multiple points, we wondered if it was shot in our region. (For the record, it's shot in Syracuse, and not the mid-south, but that's the beauty of it – it's so relatable, it feels like it could be just about anywhere.) It's difficult to find a film that captures these experiences and tells the story in such a realistic way, but Big Time Adolescence does both perfectly, and it's well worth your time.

Also Pete Davidson is fantastic, and I cannot wait for his role in the upcoming Judd Apatow feature The King of Staten Island. If this movie is any indication, be on the lookout for absolutely stellar performances.

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About Eden Arnold

With over a decade of writing experience and by-lines in print, books, and online in addition to a lifetime of television watching experience, Eden is passionate about combining the two. Obsessed with all things TV, she is thrilled to bring all of her many television opinions to the masses.

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