VOD REVIEW: North Hollywood a bright, evocative coming-of-age story

North Hollywood follows typical coming-of-age beats as it tells a familiar story, but it does it was a class and absolute joy for the story of its characters it’s hard to resist.

Set in the beautiful Los Angeles neighbourhood of North Hollywood, it follows Michael, a young man with dreams of professional skateboarding. He’s trapped between the cusp of the uncertainty of the life he wants and the life those around him have plotted out for him.

Produced by Pharrell Williams, this film about following your dreams and finding your own path is impossible to ignore.

Ryder McLaughlin is fantastic in the lead role as Michael, a young, unsure teenager just trying to fit in and find his footing. The actor has shown some chops in Dwayne Johnson show Ballers and similarly-themed film Mid90s, but he really manages to shine here.

Between finding young love, skateboarder, trying to fit in with the older kids, and clashing with his father, it’s a nostalgia trip for all who watch it.

Written and directed by Mikey Alfred, who also produced writer-director Jonah Hill’s L.A.-set story Mid90s, this is a great companion piece and a well-told film.

This film is chalk full of wonderful performances, from love interest Miranda Cosgrove to Nico Hiraga and Aramis Hudson, the young stars who play Michael’s friends, everyone is fantastic.

But it’s Vince Vaughn, who takes a further departure from his improvisational, comedic roots to play Michael’s blue-collar, hard-nosed dad who makes this film stand out.

As Oliver, he wishes for a different kind of life for his son, but Michael is just pushing for acceptance. Vaughn is both a doting dad and overly intense here, in a sublime turn that marks one of his best performances in years.

This is a skillful film that provides a fantastic nostalgia trip and nabs a few genuine smiles along the way.

4/5 Stars

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