Review by Camden Ferrell
As the summer movie season comes to a close, a light-hearted family film will fill the void this coming weekend. Gigi & Nate is a comedy-drama film from director Nick Hamm and writer David Hudgins. Despite being a predictable and by-the-books movie for all audiences, this movie is harmless and decent, proving itself to be more competent than expected.
Nate is a young, active boy, but he soon finds his life changed. After meningitis leaves him hospitalized, he becomes quadriplegic. After this event, his life changes for the worst as he finds himself falling into depression. However, everything changes when he receives an unlikely service animal. Gigi is an intelligent capuchin monkey that gives Nate the companionship and hope he desperately needed. This is a unique and inspiring story that is simple, accessible, and easy to consume for all ages and audiences.
Hudgins has experience writing a lot of network television, and this screenplay feels on par with the quality of writing he has typically done on television. It’s not bad by any means, but it also isn’t particularly compelling or fresh. It is sufficient in telling its story, but it does seem to gloss over Nate’s initial struggles more than one would hope, but it also was fairly bloated as is at almost two hours.
The acting is decent from everyone involved, but it’s nothing that stands out as moving more so than the average drama. Charlie Rowe leads the film as Nate, and he’s a charming enough lead to carry the movie. He’s not perfect, but like everything else in this movie, he’s good enough. He has enjoyable chemistry with his co-stars like Josephine Langford, Marcia Gay Harden, and Jim Belushi, but none of them give memorable performances despite their competence.
This is standard family-friendly fare that aims to tug on the heartstrings with mixed results. It’s extremely undemanding of the viewer and can be some low effort viewing that could prove entertaining to many. Once you can look past the weak visual effects to bring Gigi to life, there’s more to like in this movie than dislike.
Gigi & Nate is a comedy drama with no shortage of cheesiness, and this can be a pro or con depending on who you are. It will definitely find many fans due to its inspiring story even if it is content to be unambitious. Overall, this is a harmless and not bad way to spend two hours.
Gigi & Nate is in theaters September 2.