Dude stars Lucy Hale as she and her three best friends prepare for high school graduation. The film opens with best friends Chloe (Kathryn Prescott from Finding Carter) and Lily (Hale) who are hanging out with Chloe’s brother, Thomas, played by Austin Butler. Butler’s character is killed off pretty early on in a unseen accident and from there, the movie takes shape as it flashes forward one year to the four girls being seniors and getting into college.
The death of Chloe’s brother looms over the movie as Lily can’t seem to get over the past. I’m going to admit that I had low expectations going into the movie, but what I like about it is the fact that everything seems very real from the way teens are portrayed to the emotions they experience.
There’s a lot of ugly things about this movie including a very realistic portrayal of rape, an imperfect love interest, and the irrational fighting the girls go through. It’s ugly because it’s all very real and isn’t glorified in any sort of way. The girls struggle to find their place after high school especially Lily who has grown attached to her high school routine.
I’m currently in college about to graduate and I’ve definitely had my “Lily” moments when I grow frustrated holding onto something that is simply meant to be a memory in the past. A lot of my friends graduated last semester, and I felt so similar to Lily in a lot of ways, especially her still coping with the loss of Thomas. Going from one phase in your life to another is scary, but holding onto the past is not the answer, and I think this film really hones in on that.
The other two girls, Rebecca and Amelia, are also fleshed out a bit, but the main focus really sticks to Chloe and Lily. Chloe also has a sweet love interest, and it works because it makes Lily freak out when Chloe endures all these changes at once. Lily’s love interest is also sort of fitting as his indecisiveness and back and forth with Lily makes sense since she is equally confused about the state of her future. Overall, the supporting characters worked for the most part, including Lily’s mom who snaps her back to reality.
Overall, I really like the simplicity of the plot. Some may say it may not even have one, but the characters feel real and authentic, and I found myself relating to a lot of the different aspects of the core four girls. I would recommend this movie for sure. Is it the best movie? No, it’s not, but it is a nice feel good movie and if you’re graduating, then you should watch it for sure.