Along for the Ride is a 2022 American drama film written and directed by Sofia Alvarez, based on the novel of the same name by Sarah Dessen. The film stars Emma Pasarow, Belmont Cameli, Kate Bosworth, Laura Kariuki, Andie MacDowell and Dermot Mulroney. The film was released on May 6, 2022 by Netflix. The film’s official logline reads: “The summer before college Auden meets the mysterious Eli, a fellow insomniac. While the seaside town of Colby sleeps, the two embark on a nightly quest to help Auden experience the fun, carefree teen life she never knew she wanted.”
Recent high school graduate, 18-year-old Auden West (Emma Pasarow) goes to stay with her father Robert (Dermot Mulroney) in the small beachside town of Colby, wanting to spend a carefree summer reinventing herself before she leaves for college. A daughter of academics and an exemplary student, her mother (Andie McDowell) objects to her wanting to spend time with her father. An absentee dad for years, locking himself away in his office to work on his studies, he has an infant and is remarried to Heidi (Kate Bosworth).
Upon Heidi’s suggestion, Auden goes to the Tip on her first day. As she’s experimenting, she makes out with a guy, later regretting it. Heidi takes her in to her shop the next day, where she’s to look after the receipts. She comes face to face with three girls she’d seen at the Tip (Maggie is the ex of the guy she made out with). Now they all work together.
A loner and night-person, Auden roams the streets after everyone else is asleep. Ten days after her arrival she meets fellow insomniac Eli (Belmont Cameli). A BMXer, he takes her on nightly adventures and he challenges her to a quest to do all the things she missed out on in her childhood. On their first outing, they go to a secret pie shop, and he introduces her to Connect Four. On the next, they play mini golf and she admits she never got to wear her prom dress.
Auden’s mom turns up on a rainy day, taking her for lunch. She’s obviously envious of her ex and Heidi. Auden gets closer to the girls, being invited both to watch Maggie do cross-country BMXing and to a Conch House party. There she finds out about Eli’s accident where a drunk driver killed his best friend Abe.