Many look back to the 80s and 90s and feel a sense of nostalgia through its popular fashion trends, hairstyles and especially its music. Released to Netflix on Dec. 3, “Mixtape” showcases the reality of losing loved ones and the impact of music, specifically from the past. Through the eyes of an adorable and adventurous tween girl living in the last months of 1999, the audience follows protagonist Beverly Moody as she tries to track down songs from a mixtape her deceased parents created for her. Moody believes that her parents may have had a message for her through the songs. “Mixtape” feels familiar with the familiarity of Moody’s character, yet it is perhaps one of the most earnest films of grief, fate and messages of the year.

Moody (Gemma Brooke Allen) seems like a typical nerdy girl who has no friends. During the first 30 minutes of the film, she only spends time with her grandmother, Gail (Julie Brown). Moody seems to fall under the stereotype of a young, tween girl who is “different” from her classmates in the sense that she is a loner. She is obsessed with poetry, music and fireworks, which her classmates do not like. Although many of her classmates are ill-mannered, it seems cliche for a movie director to have a young nerdy girl be a loner. Within the first 10 minutes, it was quite obvious that she was in fact an introvert, but it was predictable that she would ultimately make friends and that they would in some way be involved with the adventure that Moody started. One of the best characteristics of Moody that helps her stand out as a protagonist, however, is her moxie and how she does not give up.

One character that is perhaps the glue of the film is Moody’s friend, Anti (Nick Thune). Anti is the almost jaded record store owner that Moody stumbles into one day while beginning the journey of tracking down every song in her parent’s broken love mixtape. Thune depicts Anti in the best way possible, sarcastically. Anti despises everything, which makes his character even more humorous, especially when it comes to Moody. During their first encounter, he was a bit reserved in the sense that he clearly has had some dreadful memories of the past as well as Moody and her upbringing. On some level, it would seem as though their past brought them together as well as them both being loners. Despite them both being loners, they also seem to find the importance and meaning of life, especially Anti. Even though he gives many reasons to not like him because of his intolerable behavior, he does teach Moody to be herself and to not let anyone take that away from her, which allows the audience to sincerely sympathize with him and makes him the best character in the movie. 

One of the film’s major issues is the main character herself. Although Moody is an excellent character, at times she does become annoying and seemingly the antagonist at some points in the film. After hearing negative comments about her mother from a former friend, she becomes like a version of Anti, but perhaps more extreme. She becomes pessimistic in the sense that she no longer believes that her parents were trying to send her a message through the mixtapes. Moody transforms into her own version of a bully in which she makes fun of her friends for being losers, stabs a kid’s wheelchair wheel with a pencil and falls under the illusion that her parents may not have liked her had they seen her grow up. With the last song still flying in the air not near Moody’s grasp, she switches her positive, outgoing mindset to be a bitter one that is almost too miserable to watch.

Although it does not take much to convince Moody to become herself again, the film brings to light how easy it is to let other people’s opinions of ourselves shatter our own perspectives. The songs spread throughout the film are diverse and fun, especially with the typical ‘90s songs. It is pleasurable to see the impact of music on a person and how those songs ultimately lead her to connect with her deceased parents. Other viewers will likely criticize the film for its somewhat cliché themes of the main character, but “Mixtape” is truly a good comfort film. Even though the targeted audience is most likely children of Moody’s character, the film can be for anyone, especially with the theme of losing loved ones. This is one of the only movies that does not involve Christmas trees and decorations released this season, which is why it’s simply a film that one can watch anytime and anywhere.

  • Acting
  • Clichés
  • Character Relationships
  • Comfort
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