KINGS OF SUMMER is a “coming of age tale” of boys becoming men. IMDB.com summarizes the film this way, “Three teenage friends, in the ultimate act of independence, decide to spend their summer building a house in the woods and living off the land.” The biggest drawback to this movie is the MPAA rated it R for language and some teen drinking; which means that many parents of teens will not allow their young adult to watch this movie. It is, however, a really good opportunity to sit and spend time with your teen and talk about life’s complications like dealing with friendships, first love, independence, and temptations to grow up too fast. This movie can easily provide a parent a gateway into starting a dialog with their teen about “coming of age.”
The adult cast is chock full of talented comedic actors such as Nick Offerman (best known for his hilariously macho character Ron Swanson on TV’s PARKS AND REC), the funny and versatile Megan Mullally, Marc Evan Jackson, Alison Brie, and Craig Cackowski. Each actor delivers their straight scripted lines with the right amount of tone to make us laugh at life’s strange moments. Although this film carries plenty of life’s absurd moments it’s not for fans of overt comedy mishaps like getting caught with your pants down and there is no hint of slap stick. Before the design of the internet this film would have been dubbed an Indie and only played in big city theaters that fancied themselves as “art house” theaters.
The three main characters Joe, Patrick and Biaggio are played by apt young talented men, Nick Robinson (credits include MELISSA & JOEY), Gabriel Basso (credits include SUPER 8), and Moises Arias (credits include ENDERS GAME). In the film these characters play knights and sword fight. They climb trees, urinate in the woods, build a house, watch the sun set, try to grow beards, try to trap dinner and pretty much survive on their own if you don’t count that they periodically came out of hiding to purchase Boston Market dinners. Everything is going fine for them until pretty blonde Kelly played by Erin Moriarty enters. It’s not tough to guess what happens to the boys’ friendship, since this is a classic story we’ve all heard a million times and probably also experienced. The movie plays out with the boys having to make mature decisions about friendship and love and we also see them play the part of hero when one-third of the troop becomes seriously hurt.
As the X-generation develops its talent through the use of inexpensive digital media, we see more and more movies like this at the readily available. Good solid stories about the human condition like KINGS OF SUMMER shouldn’t be compared to blockbuster actions films because that is not its purpose. Here we see a film try to reach us with impressive cinematography and heartfelt universal situations. The film sports beautiful shots of the woods, a breathtaking small waterfall and lush landscapes that hid the boys from civilization. Even the close-up shots are artistic, coming from an angle that is slightly askew or from above. The soundtrack works well with the images and has tracks from MGMT, Youth Lagoon, and The Orb. Review by staff member Cindy Pope
If you’re interested in viewing this film you may place a hold on it via our catalog.
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