Reporting Julie Fisk
The Kings Of Summer
“The Kings of Summer” stars Nick Robinson and Gabriel Basso as teens so fed up with their home life that they run away to a tree house in the woods. One boy is lonely and tired of living with his depressed widower father. The other is so detached from his parents that he feels he’s living with aliens. Their solution is a handmade house in the wilderness and a summer of independence, even if it means running away from home.
If you’re expecting a big summer blockbuster with familiar stars, this is NOT your film. The biggest names you’ll find here are Megan Mullally and Nick Offerman. (You know, Ron Swanson.) They are both awesome, as you’d expect. In fact everyone in this film delivers a great performance, which keeps it from getting too bogged down by its own Indie sensibility.
“The Kings of Summer” can be laugh-out-loud funny one minute and then get caught up in slow motion artsy-fartsy camera angles the next. It’s like “Napoleon Dynamite” meets “Ferris Bueller,” but if John Hughes’ art-school cousin did the camera work. “The Kings of Summer” also starts to unravel midway through, when you realize the boys, as well as the audience, have had all the fun they can have. Once you get beyond that though, you’ll discover a pleasing story about a Father and son finding each other again.
I adored “The Kings of Summer,” and I’m giving it a B+. Amid all that teen angst you’ll find the feeling of freedom and promise every kid feels at the end of the school year. And like its main characters, “The Kings of Summer” might be unruly and wild, but at its core it’s truly sweet.