Parents' Guide to

Ellie & Abbie (& Ellie's Dead Aunt)

By Sandie Angulo Chen, Common Sense Media Reviewer

age 14+

Short, sweet Aussie coming-out romance has strong language.

Movie NR 2021 82 minutes
Ellie & Abbie (& Ellie's Dead Aunt) Poster Image

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This Aussie coming-out story is a heartwarming teen and family dramedy. Hawkshaw is well cast as Ellie, who loves positive affirmations, her mother, school, and her effortlessly cool classmate, Abbie. And nonbinary actor Terakes (Nine Perfect Strangers) is fabulous as Abbie, who's free of artifice and drama. The scenes between Ellie and Abbie are both poignant and the movie's funniest. Zanetti definitely paints a realistic portrait of the difficulties of putting yourself out there and asking someone out for the first time.

The ghost angle is quirky and fun but also heartbreaking, because Ellie never knew her Aunt Tara, who died before she was born. Ellie and Tara's interactions are sweet, particularly as Tara keeps giving Ellie "dated" advice that somehow still resonates (like when she claims that Ellie can confirm whether Abbie is gay if Abbie knows any Australian Football League players, or when she suggests they discuss who's hotter, k.d. lang or Melissa Etheridge). The only thread that isn't quite satisfying as written is Ellie's relationship with her mom. They're supposed to be as close as best friends, but Ellie's mom acts selfishly in her response to her daughter coming out. It's eventually explained why Erica is triggered by her daughter's revelation, but for part of the movie, it does seem slightly too homophobic, given their strong relationship. Ultimately, this is a surprisingly tenderhearted story of coming out, falling in love, and reconciling with the past.

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