Title: Shovel Buddies
MPAA Rating: R
Director: Si & Ad
Starring: Bella Thorne, Kian Lawley, Alex Neustaedter
Runtime: 1 hr 25 mins
What It Is: When their lifelong friend Sammy (Philip Labes) succumbs to cancer. Jimmy (Neustaedter) and Dan (Lawley) team up with his sister Kate (Thorne) in order to fulfill his dying wish which Jimmy was made aware of via Snapchat. Thanks to his parents being out of town Jimmy has to bring along his little brother Lump (Anton Starkman) for the ride. They’ll do what they must in order to achieve their friends last wish, for him to be buried in his high school football jersey.
What We Think: While the acting certainly leaves something to be desired the film has it’s heart in the right place. Thorne also produced this picture which might explain why she’s in it. This is despite her acting chops not really being able to grasp the emotions her character should be feeling. Lawley’s character is a disaster and it was very difficult to feel any positive emotion towards him even when the moment tried to dictate to you it was needed. Character motives don’t add up, especially JImmy’s and thats a problem within the script. It’s even brought up by the other characters in a very meta way.
Our Grade: C-, I can’t really recommend this. I mean sure it has the heart behind it but Dan is so despicable and Jimmy isn’t a good person either. The script doesn’t help with the apathy or hatred we formulate behind the characters. I’d like to also bring up that the music while awesome did not fit within the construct of the scenes they were in. It is great music though. I’ll be looking forward to whatever the two young men in this film want to do next because I think the pieces are there. Thorne certainly has some projects coming up, and even her previous work like The DUFF or even something bad like Blended she was pretty okay. Even if the script did not let her do much.