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Teen Review: ‘Stella’ brings comedy with dramatic insight


by Khari Dawson

Scrolling through my Instagram timeline late last year, I come across a video posted by @natandalex, a shared Instagram account of the multi-talented brother duo Nat and Alex Wolff. It was a trailer for a film called Stella’s Last Weekend.   What was clear about the movie post watching the trailer was that the two would be playing brothers lusting over the same girl. I was excited for the film for two reasons; Nat and Alex are two of my favorite young actors, and one of the main characters was a Black girl. The film was directed and written by the Wolffs’ mother, Polly Draper, who also plays their mother on screen. I watched the film this week, about five months after its initial release.

Alex and Nat Wolff as Jack and Oliver

The movie opens and roles are immediately established. Jack (Nat Wolff), is the more quiet and quaint brother compared to Oliver (Alex Wolff), who takes a photo of his butt to send to his girlfriend Violet (Paulina Singer) midday in the middle of the busy New York sidewalk. This movie proves to me just how good of an actor Alex Wolff is. Oliver is wildly different from Peter, his character from 2018’s most brash and shocking horror film, Hereditary.

The movie is a comedy, yet, deals with Sally’s (Polly Draper) struggle for control over her sons and the things around her. The film also focuses on Jack’s struggle for self-control around Violet all while the family’s childhood dog spends her last weekend before having a sort of “send off” party before getting put to sleep. The film’s tone is light-hearted although it ends with inevitable death.

The brothers’ relationship is truly endearing and their relationship with their mother (Polly Draper) is loving and comfortable. I found the movie funny while it was able to keep the drama alive and interesting. Every conversation between each character seemed to be meaningful, insightful, and important. While watching, I didn’t feel that a single second of my time was being wasted. This movie used comedy brilliantly, a best bet for teens and young adults to watch with a sibling. I thoroughly enjoyed it.

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Khari Dawson is a high-school sophomore and a film student at the Community College of Baltimore County. She writes music and movie reviews and enjoys concerts in her free time. Check out her work at ilove2writestories.com