The Kings of Summer

coming-of-age movie

There were approximately 5,023 screenings of The Kings of Summer, formerly titled Toy's House, but I wasn't able to see it until this week, at the AMC John R (those seats are fabulous!). The movie is a coming-of-age film, and is done very well; it has a Michigan connection, too, as its director, Jordan Vogt-Roberts, grew up in Royal Oak. Although it had more minor laughs than real "laugh out loud" moments, the film will make you reminisce about your own childhood, and it's a movie you won't want to miss at the theater this summer.

Joe (Nick Robinson) and his friend Patrick (Gabriel Basso) are sick of living with their parents. They've just finished their freshman year of high school, and their living situations are "awful," according to them - Joe's dad (Nick Offerman) is still getting over his wife's death, and Patrick's parents (Megan Mullally and Mark Evan Jackson) are driving him crazy. One night, Joe finds a secluded spot in the woods nearby his house, and decides that he and Patrick should build a house there and live parent-free for the summer. The misfit Biaggio (Moises Arias) somehow ends up joining them, and the three of them live blissfully for a bit - until a girl (Erin Moriarty) starts to cause a riff in Joe and Patrick's friendship.

Nick Robinson, who plays Joe in the movie, is very charismatic; I hope to see more of him on the big screen. He reminded me a little of Macaulay Culkin (in his Home Alone days) and another blogger said he thinks he will be the next Ryan Gosling - he even looks a little like him. Moises Arias was perfect as Biaggio, a bit of a creeper but who proves himself to be a good friend to the boys, and Gabriel Basso was good as well as Patrick, Nick's friend. The funniest character in the movie was actually Joe's dad, played by Nick Offerman, but only because he had so many sarcastic and deadpan lines that he got to deliver.

Yes, see this movie. It's an indie movie (by CBS Films) so it may be a little harder to find, but the Main Art Theater in metro Detroit will have it playing starting this weekend (June 8th/9th), and it's already been released in other metro areas (NYC, LA, etc.). The film will make you laugh but the real part that draws you in is the story, as it's one that is completely plausible and could definitely happen in real life. The Kings of Summer may not be the flashiest movie at the box office this summer, and won't be a blockbuster, but it's one that everyone should see when you get a chance.

The Kings of Summer is currently playing in theaters, and is rated R with a runtime of 93 minutes. 4.5 stars out of 5.

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