"}
Film

The Kings of Summer

Running away from it all

Wednesday, July 3, 2013

Have you ever just wanted to run away from it all?

Then you might just relate to The Kings of Summer, an unconventional coming-of-age story that’s likely to appeal to the rebellious teen in all of us.

With his mom deceased and his sister married and gone, Joe is stuck at home with his emotionally repressed father.

“Masturbation is fun. I get it. But it’s not ‘green’ to do it with the shower running,” Frank grouches through a locked bathroom door.

Patrick’s parents are so kooky, they’re giving him hives.

“My mom won’t let me walk through the house without my socks on,” bemoans Patrick, though that seems the least of his Stepford folks’ varied eccentricities.

Biaggio, well, we’re not quite sure what his issues at home are. The script by Chris Galletta gives his personal life rather short shrift. That’s somewhat understandable because the story centers on the long-standing bosom buddyhood of Joe and Patrick, which is tested not surprisingly by a girl, Kelly, that they both long for.

Joe hatches a plan to build a home away from home in the woods on the outskirts of small-town Tottenville. There’s a bit of Gilligan’s Island syndrome here—as in “where did they get all this stuff?”—though we know the ramshackle but capacious edifice’s front door comes from a construction site port-a-pottie.

Though Joe has studied a manual on how to live off the land and there are a few lame efforts to have nature provide sustenance, the three boys mostly live on fast-food chicken funded by a bankroll filched from Joe’s dad.

Director Jordan Vogt-Roberts gives us plenty of idyllic, carefree summertime moments, conjuring up comparisons to teen buddy films of the past such as Breaking Away or Stand by Me.

Vogt-Roberts has also assembled an engaging cast of young people, bolstered by some great comic performances from the older folks, most notably Nick Offerman, hewing closely to the gruff and wry Ron Swanson character he plays on Parks and Recreation.

Likewise, Megan Mullally channels quite a bit of her Karen Walker character from Will and Grace, minus the booze, pills and self-involvement, as Patrick’s mom. Both actors energize the story in every frame they’re in.

Nick Robinson carries the lion’s share of the load as Joe, imbuing his performance with an appealing combination of guile and vulnerability. Gabriel Basso is also fine in the slightly secondary role of Patrick.

Moises Arias’s Biaggio is an imp of a young man who speaks in non-sequiturs. It’s a character clearly intended to be the comic relief and though he’s a little ill-defined—other than being downright batty—Arias manages to make him disconcerting but likeable (and hilarious).

At times, the script does seem rather too self-consciously loopy, so it’s left to the cast to make it succeed and they do. In less capable hands, it could have been a rather tiresome mess.

And though the story is mostly played for laughs, there are a couple of moments at the end that are subtle yet rich in emotional resonance.

Minor misgivings aside, The Kings of Summer is likely to endure as a charming summer frolic that can be shared and enjoyed by those on both sides of the generation gap.

Ticket Cascadia
More Film...
Doctober
Handling the truth

By now, everyone knows that when I’m not executing my Cascadia Weekly duties, I’m moonlighting as a projectionist at the Pickford Film Center.

While the Pickford is currently offering its customary selection of top-notch indie movies, behind the scenes, all conversation revolves…

more »
London Road
A musical murder mystery

The techniques of verbatim theater go back decades, to at least the 1950s, when young German theater troupes would reenact complicated court cases word for word onstage. Even earlier, in the United States, the WPA paid for a form of this performance with its “Living Newspapers,” in…

more »
The Magnificent Seven
Another day, another remake

The big difference between the new version of The Magnificent Seven and the revered 1960 feature is the ethnic background of the main characters. The titular seven in director Antoine Fuqua’s take are a diverse bunch, while the ruthless villain of the piece is no longer a Mexican bandito…

more »
Events
Today
Whatcom Water Week

10:00am|Whatcom County

The Music Man

7:30pm|Anacortes Community Theatre

Little Women

7:30pm|Whidbey Playhouse

The Miracle Worker

7:30pm|Claire vg Thomas Theatre

Quilt & Fiber Arts Festival

10:00am|La Conner

Get an edible education

4:00pm

Love, Loss and What I Wore

7:30pm|Heiner Auditorium

Hellingham

8:00pm|Upfront Theatre

Handling the truth

9:35pm

Run Like a Girl

8:00am|Fairhaven Park

Anacortes Farmers Market

9:00am|Depot Arts Center

Benefit Garage Sale

9:00am|T.G. Richards Building

Cabbage Class

9:00am|Garden Spot Nursery

Mount Vernon Farmers Market

9:00am|Riverfront Plaza

Model Train Show

9:00am|Northwest Washington Fairgrounds

Twin Sisters Farmers Market

9:00am|Nugent's Corner

Healthcare Film

9:30am|Bellingham Public Library

Fermentation Fun

10:00am|Blaine Library

Fall Family Fun

10:00am|Glen Echo Garden

Birding Walk

10:00am|South Whatcom Library

Fall Fruit Festival

10:00am|Cloud Mountain Farm Center

Skagit Valley Festival of Family Farms

10:00am|Skagit County

Film is Truth Anniversary Party

10:00am|Bellingham Public Market

Blaine Gardeners Market

10:00am|Peace Portal Drive

Bellingham Farmers Market

10:00am|Depot Market Square

Whatcom Artist Studio Tour

10:00am|Whatcom County

Porpathon

10:00am|Salish Sea

Buddy Walk

11:00am|Fairhaven Village Green

National Geographic's 50 Greatest Photos Opening

12:00pm|Whatcom Museum's Lightcatcher Building

Boating Center Open

12:00pm|Community Boating Center

Banned Books Week Read-In

12:30pm|Village Books

Intro to NaNoWriMo

1:00pm|Bellingham Public Library

Artist Lecture

1:00pm|Whatcom Museum's Old City Hall

Matched Makers Opening

2:00pm|Museum of Northwest Art

Timber Rose

2:00pm|North Fork Library

Traditional Jazz

2:00pm|VFW Hall

Blessing of the Animals

3:30pm|Cornwall Park

Poetry Palavers

4:00pm|Village Books

Matzke Art Auction

5:00pm|Matzke Fine Art Gallery and Sculpture Park

Edison Opening

5:00pm|Smith & Vallee Gallery

Celebrating Jack Prelutsky

5:30pm|Western Library

USA Dance

7:00pm|Presence Studio

Fred Morrison

7:00pm|Littlefield Celtic Center

The Aimees

7:00pm|BAAY Theatre

George Winston

7:30pm|McIntyre Hall

Tannahill Weavers

7:30pm|Lincoln Theatre

Folk Dance Party

7:30pm|Fairhaven Library

Bellingham Chamber Music Society

7:30pm|Whatcom Museum's Old City Hall

MBT Wynton Marsalis Cascadia Weekly Subscribe Ad 1
Tomorrow
The Music Man

7:30pm|Anacortes Community Theatre

Little Women

7:30pm|Whidbey Playhouse

The Miracle Worker

7:30pm|Claire vg Thomas Theatre

Quilt & Fiber Arts Festival

10:00am|La Conner

Love, Loss and What I Wore

7:30pm|Heiner Auditorium

Handling the truth

9:35pm

Benefit Garage Sale

9:00am|T.G. Richards Building

Model Train Show

9:00am|Northwest Washington Fairgrounds

Skagit Valley Festival of Family Farms

10:00am|Skagit County

Whatcom Artist Studio Tour

10:00am|Whatcom County

Fall Fruit Festival

10:00am|Cloud Mountain Farm Center

Boating Center Open

12:00pm|Community Boating Center

Community Breakfast

8:00am|Rome Grange

Rabbit Ride

8:00am|Fairhaven Bicycle

Fueling Education Fun Run

9:30am|Washington Park

Sunday Market

1:00pm|Alger Community Hall

Walk the Wall

1:30pm|Lake Padden

Take a Kid Mountain Biking Day

2:00pm|Lake Padden Park

Sunday Night Fusion

7:00pm|Presence Studio

Bruce Molsky

7:00pm|YWCA Ballroom

White Christmas Auditions

7:00pm|Mount Baker Theatre

Swinomish 2016 Northwood Steak and Crab
Monday
Handling the truth

9:35pm

White Christmas Auditions

7:00pm|Mount Baker Theatre

The Land That Remains

3:00pm|Perry and Carlson Gallery

Educators Afternoon Social

3:00pm|Whatcom Museum's Lightcatcher Building

Raw Desserts

6:30pm|Community Food Co-op

Pumpkin Particulars

6:30pm|Gretchen's Kitchen

Selector Dub Narcotic

8:00pm|Bellingham Alternative Library

Poetrynight

8:00pm|Bellingham Public Library

Guffawingham

9:30pm|Green Frog

see our complete calendar »

Mount Baker Theatre Swinomish 2016 Artifacts Wine Bar CW BOB 2016 Andrew Subin Everybody’s Store Bellingham Farmer’s Market Village Books Northwood Steak and Crab Cascadia Weekly Subscribe Ad 1 Zoots Side Bar