Ahh to be teenagers. A time when your responsibilities are few and the opportunities for fun seem endless. In Never Goin’ Back, our two teenage leads manage to combine a teen movie, stoner movie, and buddy comedy into one wild ride.
Angela (Maia Mitchell) and Jessie (Camila Morrone) are both high school dropouts, best friends, living together, and working at a greasy spoon diner called the Buttermilk Cafe out in Texas. Their love for one another runs deep as the two rely on each other to survive their tumultuous circumstances, whether that be coming up with an excuse for why they missed work or figuring out how to pay rent that month. Had their upbringing or circumstances been different, it would be easy to see Angela and Jessie as the popular high school cheerleaders. Instead, with parents out of the picture, they do drugs, party and live with Jessie’s inept brother, Dustin, and his equally inept roommate, Brandon (SNL’s Kyle Mooney).
The girls decide to celebrate Jessie’s birthday by spending their rent money on a trip to Galveston, where they can “kiss some dolphins, smoke some ganja and eat some donuts.” But before they reach the beach, they must make sure rent is paid. The ensuing shenanigans are pretty much what you expect. Drugs, drinking and bodily fluids are involved and the girls continually get distracted by new shiny things, lured away from getting to their waitressing jobs and steady paychecks.
While its refreshing to see a stoner buddy comedy about two females, the casting is the only part that feels new. Most of the other events feel like your standard stoner flick, along the lines of Pineapple Express and Spring Breakers. Spoiler alert - girls take giant dumps, just like guys! While it certainly has its funny moments, Never Goin’ Back stays firmly in the crude humor lane and never seems to break through into anything more interesting.
It’s certainly fun to watch these two besties scheme and party together, but at the end of the day, this is a film we’ve all seen before - just with 16-year-old girls instead of Seth Rogen.