Onto the K selection! Now, we’re still in the indie film category but this time we’re heading into one of my favorite genre (or is it a subgenre?). Its coming of age stories! I really like these stories when its done right. Maybe it has to do with taking a class that focused on that also. Regardless, I’ve read various reviews when this was really great. I don’t know why I’ve been pushing it off but here we are..The Kings of Summer! Summer is kind of almost over but hey, why not, right?
Let’s check this out!
The Kings of Summer (2013)
Director: Jordan Vogt-Roberts
Cast: Nick Robinson, Gabriel Basso, Moises Arias, Nick Offerman, Erin Moriarty, Megan Mullally, Marc Evan Jackson, Alison Brie
Joe (Nick Robinson) is a teenage boy living with his only his dad especially after his sister moved out. His father hounds him all the time about everything. One day as he snuck out for a party, an incident happens that causes the group to disperse quickly and while lost in the forest, he discovers a space in the middle of nowhere. Its at that moment, he thinks up a plan to build a house in the wild with his best friend, Patrick (Gabriel Basso) and a weird kid that he got lost with the other night called Biaggio (Moises Arias). Together, they plot their master plan to move out from their homes and live independently on their own by their own rules embracing their freedom and living like men.
The Kings of Summer is a captivatingly quirky and charming indie film. Its about growing up and being men. These boys plan together as they want to be free from their parents’ control. Our main characters are boys but as a lady who was once a girl, I can still see how this all connects so well together. The Kings of Summer is about embracing what being a man is, what freedom is and just enjoying the simple things like friendship and family. The meaning and the motives behind The Kings of Summer and just what it represents is something that is really fun, heartwarming and takes you back to when you were young and desiring these things and finding who we were (at least thats how I felt). I never moved out on my own or built a house or had enough motivation to learn all these things to escape my home but as a kid, we all want to be grown up, to make our own life decisions, do what we want and that is exactly what Joe, Patrick and Biaggio did.
Before I dive in and talk about the performances, lets just get this out of the way. The scenery and cinematography was absolutely awesome! The wilderness and the landscape from the forest to the sunlight and how it shines, the fields and lakes and even just how the camera pans to emphasize certain things going on. Its all done really nicely. Also, the soundtrack was great. It started with this song called Cowboy Song and it kind of sets the tone for the movie. And the rest of the soundtrack just fit well with whatever was going on.
Look at the performances, our main leads are pretty much fresh blood. Joe, played by Nick Robinson, who I’ve only seen in the recent Jurassic World was pretty great at being Joe. He leads the group and is the person who wants out. At the same time, he wants to break free from his father and the control but also wants to just feel loved for and cared about. He wants to be independent and free. Its under his influence that enforces his best friend Patrick, played by Gabriel Basso to break free from his parents because they are overprotective and a little overbearing. And for him, doing this means to just be able to have his own thoughts and his own way. While Biaggio, played by Moises Arias, is kind of the wild card here. He appeared out of nowhere, became a part of this friendship for no reason but at the same time, as weird and awkward as his character was, he was the symbol of what friendship meant. What really worked here for this story was the chemistry that these boys had with each other which made their friendship believable and when things happened, you’d feel what they were feeling whether you connected with Joe, Patrick or even Biaggio because each had a different personality that helped keep them in balance.
In supporting roles, we have some solid performances as well. First of all, its Nick Offerman playing Joe’s dad. He delivers some fantastic sarcastic humor and while we may or may not sympathize with his character, we do start to understand it more. On the other side, there isn’t an awkward, weird moment that Megan Mullally, playing Patrick’s mom, isn’t in. Her presence was to be the overprotective and dork, weird mom that made everything really out of place.
Overall, The Kings of Summer is an energetic and fun coming of age movie that pulls out a little bit of nostalgia, a good many laughs with the script and dialogue and also some little emotional moments. It has beautiful scenery, a great message about independent, youth, freedom, friendship and family, and a fitting soundtrack that meshes with what goes on with the characters. The performances by the three leads are charming and endearing. There might have been some flaws here and there but it was never big enough for me to think about. I really like The Kings of Summer. There’s something that just pulls you in as you connect more with the characters as they grow from this daring experience to step out on their own.
Have you seen The Kings of Summer? What is your favorite coming of age movie?
L selection is right around the corner! Any guesses?