Synopsis of Along for the Ride: A Tale of Teenage Life in a Small Town
Synopsis of Along for the Ride: A Tale of Teenage Life in a Small Town

Synopsis of Along for the Ride: A Tale of Teenage Life in a Small Town

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Along for the Ride, a romantic drama film directed by Sofia Alvarez, was released on May 6, 2022, on Netflix. The movie adaptation of Sarah Dessen’s novel published in 2009, carries the theme of second chances and finding answers to the question of whether people can truly change. Set against the backdrop of the gorgeous Carolina coast, the film delves into the traumas of adolescence.

Auden West has just graduated high school and wants to spend her summer vacation with her father in Colby. Her mother, Victoria, says it’s because Auden wants to bond with her father, but the real reason is to avoid her mother’s oppressive behavior and find her true self. Upon arriving in Colby, Auden finds her stepmother, Heidi, busy breastfeeding her baby. Meanwhile, her father, Robert, is busy at his office, where he always spends most of his time.

Heidi suggests that Auden visit The Tip, a popular hangout spot for teenagers in Colby. Auden is approached by a man who turns out to be the ex-boyfriend of one of the girls there. The next day, Heidi takes Auden to her store where she’ll be working during her vacation in the accounting department. One of the employees is Maggie, the girl whose ex-boyfriend approached Auden at The Tip. There is tension between them, but it’s diffused by their two friends.

Auden frequently sits at the end of the pier because she is a loner and has trouble sleeping at night. One night, she notices a man playing with BMX on his bike. They meet that night. Eli, the man’s name, takes Auden to a secret cafe that serves coffee and cake. The next day, they play mini-golf. Suddenly, Victoria comes to visit the store. While chatting with her mother in the cafe, Auden dislikes the conversation and chooses to leave. Maggie sees the tension between Auden and her mother and starts a friendship with her. Auden is invited to watch Maggie bike, and they party together.

Auden finds out about Eli’s introverted past from Maggie. As they watch a movie at the drive-in, they discover they both suffer from insomnia. Auden tells Eli a snippet of her story of why she has trouble sleeping at night, but Eli doesn’t reciprocate in kind. That night, Auden saw a video of Eli and Abe on YouTube. Auden agrees to Eli’s adventure challenge at the lighthouse. Their challenge is to do all the things they never did from childhood to high school graduation.

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They then played trolley at the supermarket, and Auden fell. Eli hugged her right away and apologized nervously. Maggie and her friends, who knew Auden often met Eli, asked her to invite Eli to the hot dog party. When Auden invites him, he immediately becomes angry because he doesn’t want to attend any parties. However, Eli comes to the party and they have a food fight that continues with swimming on the beach under Independence Day’s fireworks celebration.

The next morning, Auden wanted to buy coffee, but she ran into her father carrying luggage. They got into a small quarrel because Auden was upset with her father’s tendency to leave the family when there was trouble. After meeting Heidi, Auden feels overwhelmed and contacts her mother to help. Auden sits alone on the beach and is approached by Eli, who brings his bike for her. Auden, who was emotionally unstable from her family issues, actually scolds Eli for always insisting on biking. Auden also brings up Eli’s burying his dreams because he still feels guilty about Abe’s death.

Victoria comes and gives Heidi moral support. Robert also seems to realize his mistake and returns home to apologize. Auden also realizes her mistake to Eli and wants to change. She asks Maggie to teach her how to ride a bike. Feeling calm, Auden goes to Eli’s garage, but it’s no longer his. Auden is confused. Where is Eli? Want to know the answer? Keep watching this film until the end and find out.


Along for the Ride is a heartwarming story about second chances and discovering oneself, set in a small town. The film takes us through Auden’s journey of self-discovery and her search for meaning in life. The breathtaking oceanside views provide a perfect backdrop for the emotional story of teenage trauma and relationships. The excellent acting, a poignant storyline, and exquisite cinematography make Along for the Ride a must-watch movie.

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Kamal Guntara is a film reviewer who is critical and experienced in the Indonesian film industry. In each of his writings, Kamal provides sharp analysis and interesting insights for readers.

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