Synopsis: The Kings Of Summer is a unique coming-of-age comedy about three teenage friends – Joe (Nick Robinson), Patrick (Gabriel Basso) and the eccentric and unpredictable Biaggio (Moises Arias) – who, in the ultimate act of independence, decide to spend their summer building a house in the woods and living off the land. Free from their parents’ rules, their idyllic summer quickly becomes a test of friendship as each boy learns to appreciate the fact that family – whether it is the one you’re born into or the one you create – is something you can’t run away from.
Release Date: May 31, 2013 MPAA Rating: PG-13
Director Jordan Vogt-Roberts explores the quintessential moment in a teenagers life when you realize at some point you are going to grow up, and the possibility that maybe you can do it on your own terms in The Kings Of Summer. A coming-of-age comedy, The Kings Of Summer embodies the spirit of being young, full of hope, and having the feeling that you can achieve anything. For the three teen boys in the movie, Joe (Nick Robinson), Patrick (Gabriel Basso), and Biaggio (Moises Arias), their journey is to strike out on their own by building a fort-house in the woods, abandoning their dysfunctional families, and living off the land.
The reason for their wanting to jump from reality is easily summed up to teenage angst–and the displeasure with one’s parents. Joe lives with his father, his mother having passed away, and the family game nights are a moment of dread. His dad Frank (Nick Offerman) doesn’t understand him, nor does Joe understand how his Dad is trying to keep the family together. Its not a complicated relationship, we’ve seen this before. Same goes for Patrick, who has the unlucky misfortune of having an overbearing mother in Mrs. Keenan (Megan Mullally) who squawks at him while his father and her always seem to appear to be watching his every move. It’s a teenage boys nightmare, and all too true to life. Biaggio is the random piece of this trio, having no real issue to contend with. He follows Joe and Patrick into the woods and joins up with them without being invited. He’s an oddball, to say the least, and provides much of the comic relief in the story. His stint hugging a tree and trying to “blend in” is a moment you will not soon forget. Biaggio aims to exist as the buffer between Joe and Patrick. As their real lives, and of course the inclusion of a love interest that will cause strife amongst them, come to a head as they face the harsh reality that is growing up, or accepting that taking your time is a good thing, Biaggio always remain the loyal friend without a side. He’s the heart of the story, all funny limbs and facial expressions and quirky actions.
The Kings Of Summer has its share of frivolity and gayness, of glory as the boys succeed in building their new home, and hilarity when they realize its easier to hike back to civilization and buy chicken than to hunt themselves. The parents are searching for their sons, and the utter disbelief they feel that they would run away only makes the testament that parents simply don’t understand us more evident of a theme. What The Kings Of Summer has is a sweetness to its characters, a naivete that is also wise in its youthful desire for freedom. The success or failure of Joe, Patrick, and Biaggio’s new life is not important, its all of the small meanings they learn along the way about themselves and their family’s. Its a rare thing when a film leaves you with a warm and tingly feeling that you’ve just witnessed something of substance pieced together so simply; The Kings Of Summer is that movie.
The perfect accompaniment for beautiful cinematography is the forest. Far away from the steel, the cement, and hardened concrete of the material world is a land full of beauty–that beauty of the wilderness, of the land, is captured wonderfully by cinematographer Ross Riege in The Kings Of Summer. The changing lights over the canopy of the forest, the way the light filters in through the trees, or bounces off of the river’s water provide scenes that are awash with a winsome splendor. The Kings Of Summer is as much about the boys coming-of-age as it is of the land, the untouched and unspoiled frontier they wish to call their own for a summer. Riege manages to capture the appeal of their newfound lifestyle through his soft and gentle focus with the camera. Each scene provokes emotion from the easy grace in which it is captured, and the world of the forest comes alive.
Cast and Crew
- Director(s): Jordan Vogt-Roberts
- Screenwriter(s): Chris Galletta
- Cast: Nick Robinson (Joe)Gabriel Basso (Patrick) Moises Arias (Biaggio)Nick Offerman (Frank)Erin Moriarty (Kelly)Craig Cackowski (Mr. Larson)Megan Mullally (Mrs. Keenan)Marc Evan Jackson (Mr. Keenan)
- Editor(s): Terel Gibson
- Cinematographer: Ross Riege
- Production Designer(s):
- Costume Designer:
- Casting Director(s):
- Music Score: Ryan Miller
- Music Performed By:
- Country Of Origin: USA