Netflix and teenage drama are a match made in heaven; from well-liked titles like On My Block, The Society, Atypical, and I Am Not Okay With This to worldwide movies like Into the Beat, Out of My League, and Caught by a Wave, the adolescent content material simply retains on coming. JJ+E, now streaming on Netflix, performs like a Romeo + Juliet of kinds and is sure to enchantment to lovers of intense teen romance.
JJ+E: STREAM IT OR SKIP IT?
The Gist: Youngsters John-John (Mustapha Aarab) and Elisabeth (Elsa Öhrn) come from completely different worlds; whereas Elisabeth goes for midnight swims and enjoys days eating by the bay, John-John and his group of associates burglarize shops and houses, and take different folks’s boats for joyrides. One fateful day, John-John occurs to be in the best place on the proper time and saves Elisabeth’s little sister Patricia from drowning, and the 2 cross paths for the primary time. They quickly uncover they’re each attending the identical theater college, too, and sparks start to fly – regardless of Elisabeth’s makes an attempt to maintain her distance, as she is grieving the lack of her mom.
It isn’t lengthy earlier than the 2 actually join; they could come from completely different worlds, however Elisabeth and John-John share one thing particular, one thing that the general public round them can’t actually appear to grasp. They joyfully rehearse for his or her upcoming efficiency at college, and sneak round behind Elisabeth’s father’s again, discovering time to discover their metropolis and fall extra in love. This bliss can’t final ceaselessly, although, and when John-John is backed right into a nook with no manner out, the variations of their worlds threaten to tear them aside ceaselessly.
What Motion pictures Will It Remind You Of?: JJ+E may remind you just a little little bit of the opposite worldwide teen flicks which have hit the platform not too long ago, like Last Summer, Dancing Queens, and Into the Beat.
Efficiency Value Watching: The ensemble is fantastic, however Elsa Öhrn has an actual star high quality, giving off main Anna Chlumsky and Florence Pugh vibes together with her efficiency. Whether or not she’s sulking at dwelling, displaying off her appearing chops to John-John’s associates, or falling head over heels into younger love, she’s totally convincing, charming in an understated manner that makes every one in every of her scenes totally engrossing.
Memorable Dialogue: I ran to jot down an early line from one in every of John-John’s associates previous to breaking into Frank’s home: “Nobody who’s that wealthy is sweet,” says Sluggo. “Both he or one in every of his ancestors fucked somebody over.”
Intercourse and Pores and skin: There’s some candy, tender first-love intercourse, and plenty of canoodling.
Our Take: JJ+E avoids the largest sin dedicated by most teen dramas: it by no means will get soapy. The movie creates a grounded world from the get-go, making Stockholm really feel like every neighborhood, and John-John and his associates like youngsters all of us went to highschool with. When the stakes get excessive and the drama will get intense, that sense of actuality continues to be very a lot current, making certain that the movie’s heavier moments pack the punches essential to make us actually really feel one thing (and concern for John-John’s future).
Regardless of the movie’s successes in lots of arenas, nevertheless, I couldn’t assist however be thrown by its indecisiveness in regards to the story it was making an attempt to inform. JJ+E vacillates between John-John and Elisabeth’s candy story and the crimes occurring in John-John’s pal group that ultimately result in one thing extremely darkish – and a fairly absurd, out-of-left-field ending. I used to be on board till the final 15 or so minutes of the movie, when it takes a pointy dramatic flip that hits exhausting – however not essentially in a manner that works for JJ+E. It’s a little bit of a bummer, too, as a result of the chemistry between the younger leads is so dreamy, and the story feels necessary. When the ending jumps the shark like this, nevertheless, it’s exhausting to advocate to others.
Our Name: SKIP IT. Whereas JJ+E depicts a candy romance and has some attention-grabbing issues to say about privilege, its heightened third act proves that it’s not fairly positive what sort of film it needs to be.
Jade Budowski is a contract author with a knack for ruining punchlines, hogging the mic at karaoke, and thirst-tweeting. Observe her on Twitter: @jadebudowski.
https://decider.com/2021/09/08/jj-e-netflix-review/ | Stream It Or Skip It?