When an awkward new kid is assigned to write a school report, he chooses a curmudgeonly neighbor as his subject and starts an unusual friendship.
Ed’s the new kid in school, and in town. When he’s tasked with getting to know an older person for a school project, he turns to the only older person he “knows”—his nextdoor neighbor, Ashby.
At first, Ashby seems like a pretty regular guy, and tells Ed that his career was selling napkins. But soon Ed realizes that Ashby has some serious skeletons (possibly both figurative and literal) in his closet.
Mickey Rourke as Ashby Wolfe
I’ve never seen any of Mickey’s earlier movies, only ones since his Hollywood “resurgence.” And to be honest, the guy seems like a bit of a wack job—but I mean that in the best of ways. I feel like Ashby is maybe what Mickey is like in real life: a little scary on the outside, but a super nice guy on the inside.
Nat Wolff as Ed Wallis
Ed is a sweet, quirky dude who’s an unexpected/unusual leading man. Also, totally what I think Nat is like in real life. Although I hope he’s a bit nicer and more self-aware than Ed, because Ed is very much a self-centered teenager.
Emma Roberts as Eloise
Say what you will about her actual acting abilities, but Emma’s got some great range. She can play the Queen Mean Girl (like in Scream) and then someone like Eloise, who’s quirky and awesome and someone who I’d love to be friends with. I knew the latter from pretty much her first scene in the movie, when she asks Ed, who’s exiting from a locker (he stuck himself in, just FYI), “did you just arrive from a parallel universe?”
Sarah Silverman as June Wallis
Although it’s physically possible for Sarah to be Nat’s mother (there’s a 24 year difference in their ages), it’s still a little weird to watch it on screen. Sarah definitely toned down her typically crude sense of humor for the role, but there are still shades of the Sarah everyone knows and loves in June.
Zachary Knighton as Father Ted
Father Ted is a very small part in the movie, but Zachary brings his typical humor to the role. (Hearing a priest say “those fuckers are everywhere” when referring to a bug infestation is pretty dang amusing.)
I couldn’t find a still of him from the movie online, sadly, but know you know who to look for if you didn’t already.
Couch-Sharing Capability: Something for Everyone
Various parts of Ashby, which I won’t expressly explain because spoilers, will appeal to a wide variety of people. The movie has romance between two quirky, but thankfully not obnoxious, teenagers; an unexpectedly sweet grandfather/grandson relationship; some sports; an honest mother/son relationship, a surprising bit of action; and even a blow job joke. Writing it out here, it sounds like a lot of stuff to fit in one movie, and I wouldn’t blame you for questioning how it all fits together into a cohesive whole. But I promise, it does.
Recommended Level of Inebriation: Pour One Out
I don’t feel like watching Ashby requires much in the way of liquid lubrication, but there is a character in the movie who likes his drink. And something happens to this character over the course of the movie that might merit a drink in his honor.
Use of Your Netflix Subscription: This is Why You Subscribe
I seem to say this a lot while writing Stream Its, but this is another of those hidden gems that I’d never heard of, much less watched, before browsing what was new on Netflix. The movie is both heartwarming and hilarious, and features a really solid cast who all have great chemistry together. 10/10 would watch again.