Early in the teenage-targeted romantic comedy “Hello, Goodbye, and Everything in Between” — based on Jennifer E. Smith’s young adult novel — a senior, Aidan (Jordan Fisher), performs a Ferris Bueller-like rendition of “Twist and Shout” at a house party to the amusement of a new classmate, Clare (Talia Ryder). Before the evening ends, the two have shared a kiss and make a pact to dissolve whatever relationship might follow in a year’s time. (Having seen the downside of her divorced parents’ high school romance, Clare insists and Aidan signs on.)
The two met cute enough. But will they be able to break up as cutely? For those viewers aged out of the movie’s intended demographic, that quandary isn’t as compelling as the evidence of its lead actors’ talents, as well as that of the nimble actors who play their besties, Stella (Ayo Edebiri) and Scotty (Nico Hiraga).
Fisher was the first Black actor to portray the anxiety-tormented protagonist of “Dear Evan Hansen” on Broadway. Ryder shined in “Never Rarely Sometimes Always,” about two friends who travel to New York for an abortion. “Hello,” directed by Michael Lewen, is decidedly lighter fare.
In Clare and Aidan’s neatly circumscribed sphere, there is not much worldly or familial drama. Their parents are solidly loving, though neither kid wants to tread in their footsteps. When the couple embark on their exit date, their pact gets tested in surprising ways, and their love’s cracks finally start to show.
In the movie’s early nod to the director John Hughes, “Hello, Goodbye and Everything In Between” set a high bar, one it has the talent but not the boldness to clear.
Hello, Goodbye and Everything in Between
Not rated. Running time: 1 hour 22 minutes. Watch on Netflix.