Better Nate than Ever Parent Guide
It's an uplifting adventure with a happy ending and some outstanding musical sequences.
Parent Movie Review
Nate Foster (Rueby Wood) has big dreams of becoming a Broadway star. Those dreams are so durable that he remains undaunted after he fails to land the lead role in his middle school musical. Not surprisingly, when an opportunity to audition for a real Broadway production comes up, Nate can’t say no, even though it is in New York City and there’s no way his parents are going to let him go that far away from home.
Everyone loves a dream-big-against-the-odds story; that’s why there are so many of them. Better Nate Than Ever isn’t anything new, but it does what it sets out to do and has some fun along the way. The most surprising part of the production is the amazing talent Rueby Wood demonstrates in his debut performance. I was shocked by how good this kid is at both acting and singing. If Disney doesn’t hold him back, I think he has the potential to be the next big thing. Lisa Kudrow also shines – and she’s always a welcome presence on my screen.
Although the film’s messages about dreaming big, determination, and the power of friendship are great, it should be noted that Nate does a lot of very dangerous and irresponsible things in pursuit of his dreams - and doesn’t face any negative consequences for his recklessness. A 13-year-old should not be alone in any city, but especially not New York. I would hope that the story is so exaggerated that young viewers wouldn’t consider following Nate’s example. Parents: consider yourselves warned that you might need to have a conversation with your more impressionable kids about the need to use common sense while following those bright, sparkly dreams.
That said, I enjoyed this movie. It’s a fun, uplifting adventure with a happy ending and some outstanding performance sequences. It feels higher budget than the standard Disney+ streaming fare and there’s some genuine heart behind the production. I just hope and pray that this movie isn’t hinting that Disney is considering a Lilo and Stitch musical in real life. Please don’t let that be our fate as a society. We’ve suffered so much already.Directed by Tim Federle. Starring Rueby Wood, Lisa Kudrow, Joshua Bassett. Running time: 91 minutes. Theatrical release April 1, 2022. Updated March 28, 2022
Watch the trailer for Better Nate than Ever
Better Nate than Ever
Rating & Content Info
Why is Better Nate than Ever rated PG? Better Nate than Ever is rated PG by the MPAA for thematic elements, a suggestive element, and mild language
Violence: A boy accidently hits another boy’s face, giving him a bloody nose.
Sexual Content: A boy accidently says he has a “pornographic memory” instead of photographic memory. A teen girl asks a teen boy if he wants to kiss her, but they are interrupted before they do. There is brief, mild innuendo where a man tells his wife he thinks they should “celebrate” their anniversary and goes in for a kiss.
Profanity: There is some mild name calling such as “loser” and “idiot”. There is a single use of a term of deity.
Alcohol / Drug Use: None.
Page last updated March 28, 2022
Better Nate than Ever Parents' Guide
How does Libby support Nate in his dreams and how does he support her in hers? What qualities do their friendship have that you would want to emulate in yours?
Loved this movie? Try these books…
This movie is based on Better Nate than Ever, a book by Tim Federle. The sequel is entitled Five, Six, Seven, Nate!
If your kid can’t resist musicals, they may get a kick out of B Is for Broadway: Onstage and Backstage from A to Z by John Robert Allman.
Young Broadway fans will be fascinated by the detail provided in Where Is Broadway? by Douglas Yacka and Francesco Sedita.
All the backstage information a kid could possibly want is provided in How Does the Show Go On: An Introduction to the Theater. Authors Thomas Schumacher and Jeff Kurtti have experience in producing Disney theatrical productions, so they have plenty of first person expertise.
Middle grade readers looking for fun, fictional tales from the Great White Way will enjoy Janna Gavigan’s novel, Lulu the Broadway Mouse.
Related home video titles:
A musically talented family puts on a show to escape the Nazis in The Sound of Music.
Young viewers looking to celebrate varied musical styles mixed with some animated adventure can watch Trolls World Tour.
Camp Rock is a summer camp for aspiring young musicians. When Mitchie makes the cut, she decides to tell a few whoppers to impress her fellow singers.
Vivo tells the tale of the titular kinkajou, a honey bear from the rain forest who needs to travel to Miami on a critical errand on behalf of his performing partner. Music and adventure combine in this fun, family-friendly movie.
Desperate to save his failing theater, Buster Moon decides that a talent competition is just what he needs to attract paying patrons. In Sing, we follow the hopes and adventures of the competitors.