Netflix has no dearth of teenage rom-coms and Along For The Ride is no exception. Based on the young adult novel of the same name by Sarah Dessen, the movie deals with the love that blossoms between two insomniacs who get to spend the best part of their days in their nighttime outdoor adventures.
As the protagonist is a girl who just graduated from high school and is ready to enter college, the narrative incorporates some classic coming-of-age tropes. So, naturally, admirers of the movie can go for similar viewing options that celebrate young love, friendship, and some good, old “sneaking out.”
Paper Towns (2015) – Rent On Apple TV
Paper Towns would seem like just another romantic comedy on the surface. However, Paper Towns turns into an underrated road trip film rooted in friendship values as the story progresses. Q, the introverted protagonist, has a memorable night out with his adventurous neighbor Margo as they walk around pranking on classmates and breaking into homes. But when Margo goes missing, Q takes it upon himself to find her, chancing upon some unexpected results.
Even though Cara Delevingne’s Margo doesn’t share as much screentime as the rest of the ensemble, her segments in the first half will be very reminiscent of the time that Along For The Ride‘s leads share in the emptiness of the night. Both movies make perfect use of their nighttime setting in revealing how even two strangers can get closer in such circumstances.
The Way He Looks (2014) – Stream On Kanopy
Leonardo is a blind teenager who struggles with overprotective parents and his own independence. His life changes when a new classmate called Gabriel who incites new feelings within him. From Leo teaching Gabriel how to read Braille to Gabriel giving Leo a crash course in riding a bike, the Brazilian movie is filled with such moments of young love.
If warm, gushy feelings of wholesomeness were incited while watching Along For The Ride, then The Way He Looks would be a perfect viewing option. Both movies even rely on bicycles as an important plot device for falling in love.
How To Deal (2003) – Stream On HBO Max
One of the classic rom coms of the 2000s, How To Deal has its fair share of cliches. But in this case, the usual tropes work in its favor for a sweet, little love story. Mandy Moore stars as an edgy teenager who has a cynical view of love. Her perspective however changes when she meets an equally edgy boy portrayed by Trent Ford.
The movie benefits greatly from the chemistry of its leads and YA fans would be satisfied with the plot that is drawn from two of Sarah Dessen’s most popular novels, Someone Like You and That Summer. As Along For The Ride would regenerate interest in Dessen’s writing, it is worth checking out the first movie that adapted her literature.
The Spectacular Now (2013) – Stream On Showtime
A realistic spin on the “girl-meets-boy” formula, The Spectacular Now deals with the tragic romance shared between two high-school seniors. Shailene Woodley plays a mild-mannered newbie who falls for the popular student played by Miles Teller. What starts off as a sweet love story turns sour as the latter deals with alcoholism and abandonment issues.
In Along For The Ride, one character is shy while the other is more outgoing which helps her experience the life she always wanted to have. While this Netflix movie presents a story with sweeter consequences, The Spectacular Now serves as an interesting contrast to show how the situation can play out the other way round.
What Are The Odds (2020) – Stream On Netflix
This Indian Netflix original movie What Are the Odds relies on magical realism and a Wes Anderson-like production design to explore the bond of two unlikely high-schoolers who unexpectedly cross each others paths. It is up to the viewers to decide whether they turn into good friends or become lovers, serving as a fresh tale of innocence instead of being just another cliched teen romance.
As What Are The Odds charts a tumultuous day in their life, viewers will get reminded of how the protagonists of Along For The Ride sneak out and have adventures of their own. Instead of relying on passionate love, both stories focus on the little moments that contribute to this passion.
Before Sunrise (1995) – Stream On Hoopla
Before Sunrise, one of auteur Richard Linklater’s best movies, proves that walking around in a beautiful city like Vienna and having conversations on virtually anything can also turn strangers into lovers. Ethan Hawke and Julie Deply’s characters meet one morning in the city. They don’t exchange any melodramatic proclamations of love. And yet, endless talks make them convincingly fall for each other as the sun bleeds down.
The effortless romance between the two leads in Along For The Ride would prompt viewers to check some romantic classics in the same vein and Before Sunrise is a fine watch in this regard.
God’s Own Country (2017) – Stream On Hulu
Sometimes, people don’t know what they desire in life until a special someone drops by. God’s Own Country plays around with this thought as it centers on a hopeless sheep farmer in Britain whose view on love and life changes when he meets a passionate Romanian migrant worker. The ensuing romance has its highs and lows but goes on to show the deep impact that people can have on each other when they are truly, madly, deeply in love.
While Along For The Ride is less dramatic in comparison, the Netflix movie also shows how the life of a girl changes when she meets a boy who seems to understand her better than others. Both movies ultimately celebrate the phenomenone of strangers turning into unlikely lovers.
To All The Boys I’ve Loved Before (2018) – Stream On Netflix
The first chapter in the To All The Boys trilogy, this rom-com deals with the meek yet romantic teen Lara Jean who has a habit of writing love letters to her crushes but never sending them. When these letters get exposed to the rest of her class, Lara must struggle with not only the embarassment but also her feelings towards a high-school jock.
As Along For The Ride is the latest entry in the pantheon of rom coms streaming on Netflix it is quite normal for viewers to binge their way down this rabbit hole. In this sense, To All The Boys I’ve Loved Before is bound to show up.
Tramps (2016) – Stream On Netflix
One of the most underrated romantic movies on Netflix, Tramps can easily pass off as a high-school romance even though none of its leads are high-schoolers. And yet it has the charm of a naive, pure first love story. The plot kicks off with a heist gone wrong and two unlikely criminals being drawn into the conspiracy. As a stolen briefcase is added to the mix, the two attempt to find it and unexpectedly end up falling in love in the course of a day.
If viewers found the nighttime cycle-riding scenes of Along For The Ride pretty wholesome, then they would love to witness the sweet, little ways the titular “tramps” bond with each other. Who knew cycling on empty roads, sleeping in strangers’ warehouses, and changing trains could be this romantic?
Almost Famous (2000) – Stream On Showtime
Inspired by the real-life adolescent adventures of writer-director Cameron Crowe, Almost Famous is the story of an aspiring music journalist who skips school to tour with a band he looks up to. However, as the tour progresses, he experiences the illusion of showbiz while having life-changing experiences of his own.
Much like Along For The Ride‘s Auden, Almost Famous‘ William is a sheepish teenager who gets to discover new interests when he finally finds a gateway to the outside world away from his sheltered household.
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