What do you do when you’re a dorky kid with a secret storehouse of talent that your unpopularity keeps you from unleashing? The character Nate Foster answers the question in “Better Nate Than Ever,” a farce scripted by Tim Federle, also known for “High School Musical” and the book “Tequila Mockingbird: Cocktails with a Literary Twist.”
Tackling the Stories of the Underdog
Best known for his comedic treatment of teen years, Federle recently landed the job of director of “Sister Act III,” a musical film starring Whoopi Goldberg. The writer, scriptwriter, director, and producer typically tells stories from the teen perspective, making a film he helms that explores adult life more intriguing.
You could also say that Tim Federle tells the story of the underdog like the character Nate Foster (Rueby Wood) in his books and films. The unpopular 13-year-old dreams of a Broadway musical career, yet his attempts to gain experience at the local level fall short. He’s got the talent, but in his hometown, the juicy roles go to the popular kids.
NYC Adventures of Nate
Nate and his best friend, Libby (Aria Brooks), spot open auditions for “Lilo and Stitch: The Musical” in New York City. Never mind that the pair don’t reside in New York City; they run away so Nate can audition for his big break amid a group of people who don’t know how many friends he has or if he has a date lined up for prom.
With his biggest role thus far as a tree in the chorus of the high school musical, he and Libby set off for The Big Apple without their parents’ knowledge. The lack of parental consultation creates the space for a number of farcical roadblocks he must overcome to reach the audition in time and successfully place himself in front of the producers and casting director, who can make his dreams a reality.
Disney Ties It Up with a Nice Bow
While surviving seventh grade might seem more necessary, no Disney movie deals with such mundane issues. Of course, Federle writes a way for little Nate to make it to NYC and locate his actress aunt (Lisa Kudrow), who resides in Queens.
Although the film centers around tweens, both parents and children voted that the film best suits children ages eight or nine years old. It offers hope, a positive message, teaches the wrongs of bullying, and that by working hard and following your dream, you can create for yourself a better tomorrow.