The Kings of Summer

The Kings of Summer***

The Kings of Summer –sp  We know that adolescents have the tasks of  asserting their independence from their parents.  In this comedic yet poignant film, we see how the parents can more or less “call the question” and bring about a unique method of trying to do this. Frank Toy ( Nick Offerman) is a widower who seems quite self centered and has no empathy for his 15 year old son Joe  (Nick Robinson). Mr. and Mrs. Keenan(Mark Evan Jackson and Megan Mullally) on the other hand were so well-meaning but intrusive to their son Patrick (Gabriel Basso) that we could easily see how life was unbearable for him. So during the summer Joe and Patrick agree to disappear from their everyday life and are joined by Biaggio (Moises Arias) another kid their age who is quirky and weird but very loyal. They go deep in the woods near their homes and find a clearing  where they cobble together a hidden sort of two story house in which they plan to live. They forage for food, even kill a rabbit and occasionally sneak out to a nearby Boston Market where they pick up the left over food. But they are really gone, out of sight and even the police can’t find them although they did figure out that they must have run away. Their house in the woods is of course an allegory for their burning desire to develop and build their freedom. This screenplay is by Chris Galletta and the direction by Jordan Vogt-Roberts who is spreading his own wings  on his first feature film. While they skillfully capture the essence of this time of life, it is the chemistry between the three adolescents which holds our interest and tells the universal story of young people who yearn to be free but ultimately must wait their turn and hopefully find the best vehicle to express themselves. This movie would seem to appeal to at least mid teenagers and everyone who remembers what it was like to be one. Interestingly though , the filmmakers chose to make an R rated movie just because of a few F words spoken quite naturally. This means that they can’t advertise the film to teens but will have to hope that they will end up in theatre along with the all the post teens who get the message that this is not just a kid’s movie. (2013)

Category: 3 Stars, Comedy, Drama | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , Comment »

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