Premiered at the Sundance Film Festival in January 2013 The Kings of Summer had a minimal release in the UK the following August. Now released on DVD it certainly deserves a wider public. Joe's (Nick Robinson) mother has passed away and father Frank (Nick Offerman) has become overbearing and authoritarian towards his teenage son. Joe hatches a plan to run away to the nearby forest and build a house and live off the land. Joining him on this endeavour is his best friend Patrick (Gabriel Basso) who also feels suffocated by his parents. A rather eccentric and comedic young lad Biaggo (Moises Arias) joins this adventure. Free from their parent’s rules their idyllic summer becomes a test of friendship.
This fusion of late 70's and early 80's independent cinema brought to mind a combination of Garden State (2004) and Moonrise Kingdom (2012). It has a dream like quality and could only really take place in America; in fact it was shot in and around the village of Chagrin Falls, Ohio. This is director Jordan Vogt-Roberts and script writer Chris Galletta first attempt at a feature film and they make a effective job of it, producing something that far from a silly teen/coming of age drama. Below the very funny and original script, which is performed superbly by the young cast, there is an underlying seriousness about the relationships parents have with their offspring. An entertaining look at middle class America with some very well drawn character’s, my own personnel favourite being the somewhat oddball character of Biaggo. Give this one a try. I’m sure you want be disappointed.
|Home from Home!|