Rebellious spirit of the 80s lives on in The Kings of Summer


Not sure if they are classified as a separate film genre, but lots of coming-of-age movies are among my favorites. There’s something incredibly humane about young people freaking about small problems, thinking their lives are ruined only because they damaged the car of their dad’s or some peers saw them wearing underpants with a kitty on it.
The kids deal with their embarrassment, live through bigger or smaller problems they’re faced with it, and in 10 years time they might even have a laugh about them or completely forget them , as the mess they were in ultimately wasn’t that serious.
What remains of our childhood and teenage years is a mosaic of good and bad memories; the latter might not even evoke sad feelings anymore – all things we remember from back then make us what we are now, and each of those memories is equally important.

I’m always late when it comes to new movie releases, so the other day I was checking out a list of 2013 movies for something I haven’t seen yet which could potentially be awesome.
A title The Kings of Summer piqued my interest. I’ve read up on it a bit (I don’t really mind spoilers as much as most people do), saw Alison Brie and Nick Offerman in supporting roles and got down to watching it the next night.
It lived up to or maybe even exceeded my expectations. Three boys tired of their parents and their over-the-top involvement in kids’ lives, decide to run away, build a house of sort and live in the woods. The pursuit of independence and the desire of already being a grown-up are main motivation behind the actions of main heroes. If we add in a bit of teenage romance drama and few quirky characters we end up having a truly wonderful, movie which makes you think about what you did as a kid.

kings3Scene which reminded me of walking on railroad tracks in ‘Stand by Me’

The lead trio of actors – Nick Robinson, Gabriel Basso and Moisés Arias do great job performance-wise (they’re only nineteen-year-olds now). We also got aforementioned Brie and Offerman as supporting characters, but the cast additionally includes Megan Mullally, Mary Lynn Rajskub or Tony Hale in smaller roles with some fun bits here and there.
The depiction of nature is another thing I appreciate this movie for. The imagery of the forest the boys build their house in is so vivid. The water stream, the greens, the wildlife. These elements seem to be within a hand’s reach. But nature is not affected by puny problems of teenagers, it lives its own life. It is beautiful, but sometimes may be dangerous. Humans of today, particularly those living in cities, no longer have this connection with earth. Their resolutions to withdraw and escape from parents and rules are shaken quite a few times.


For this reason at one point comes the realization that the defiance might not be worth the trouble and in fact, certain issues can be talked out. Adulthood presents you with new possibilities but there’s no need to rush it. You’re fifteen, sixteen or seventeen for a very short time and it’s best to experience with a mindset of a kid.
I noticed some critics comparing The Kings of Summer to Stand by Me and it kinda felt good, because I also observed similarities between the two. It probably could pass off as a movie made 30 years ago as it gives off John Hughes’ vibes from time to time. Despite that, The Kings of Summer is by no means a knock-off of the classic 80s films. It’s offering a modern perspective on the coming of age while emanating nostalgic mood found in the older movies.



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