The Kings of Summer (2013)

I didn't have any expectations for this movie. I forgot what the premise was or why I wanted to see it before I did. Turns out, I just wanted to see Nick Offermen in a movie.

This is a coming of age movie for three friends who decide to leave their parents and go to live in the woods in a house that they built for themselves. It's a light-hearted story with some good humor in it. They successfully manage to mitigate the stress and fear that the parents must be feeling throughout this by giving them quirky personalities and other interactions to deal with.

Nick plays the father of the leader of the boys. If you imagine his character from Parks and Recreation having a son, then you'd be about on top of what this character is. He's gruff and authoritarian in the manner that he runs his household, and this makes the boy want to run away in the first place. Add that to his blossoming into puberty, and you have a recipe for teenage rebellion. Nick's other child, played by Alison Brie, comes back home to introduce her new boyfriend and subsequently deal with her overbearing father.

The second boy is the slightly older friend who is portrayed as a bit of a jock. He's been sidelined with a foot injury and spends the movie in a walking cast. His most notable accomplishment in the film is that his mother is Megan Mullally (Nick Offerman's real life wife). Like Nick, she delivers some great lines that lessen the seriousness of the boys running away from home together.

The third boy is entirely there for comic relief. While the first boy deals with his first crush, and the second deals with his intrusive and overprotective parents, this one is the enigma who answers questions with nonsense and makes random statements that seem to be pulled from nowhere.

All told, this was an entertaining movie. I'm really surprised that I liked it as much as I did, but it puts me in mind of a more crass, and funnier Stand By Me with respect to the kids finding their identities while still being young enough to think that they can survive on their own with no skills. It was a new way of telling a very old story that has been told many times before. Unfortunately, the end seems to drag on quite a bit.

The acting was very good.
The story was good.
The dialogue was epic.
The cinematography was good.
Believably was pretty low.



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