Thursday, April 10, 2014

Let's Review Something: The Kings of Summer

I think I’ve come to the realization that you just cannot be cool anymore unless you watch TV, and I mean regularly.  I never watch anything on television that doesn’t involve some sort of competition or isn’t some syndicated rerun of a show that was around when I was a teenager.  I don’t really know why, but maybe it has to do with the fact that there are only so many hours in a day and only so much time I have allotted for ‘in front of the TV’ and so I either watch brainless stuff I can veg out to while I’m awaiting sleep to overtake me, or I watch a movie.  Still, with myself FINALLY getting on Twitter, I have come to see that everyone I follow is constantly ‘tweeting’ about this show and that show and this actor in that show that I don’t watch and thus have no idea who they are, and I feel so constantly out of the loop.

What does that have to do with this review?

Well, I had no idea who Nick Offerman was until I saw ‘We’re the Millers’ a few months ago, and then seeing him here and hearing all the “OMG we love him” come from everyone who has seen this or who I’ve talked to about this made me realize that if I don’t start watching TV soon I’m not going to know who anyone is anymore.  I mean, this cast is made up almost entirely of television actors.

Nick Robinson…‘Melissa & Joey’
Gabriel Basso…‘The Big C’
Moises Arias…‘Hannah Montana’ and recently ‘The Middle’
Nick Offerman…‘Parks and Recreation’
Erin  Moriarty…‘One Life to Live’, ‘Red Widow’ and now ‘True Detective’
And we all know who Megan Mullally is.

Seriously, I’m embarrassed to admit this, but I’ve seen NONE of these shows and knew who NONE of these people were, outside of Mullally, and that’s because I watch SYNDICATED ‘Will and Grace’.

I’m so out of touch.

So, maybe it is because of this un-coolness that I have, but I didn’t fall head over heels for this like I had thought I was going to.  I liked it enough, but it all felt so very sitcom to me, and not in a good way.  It also felt so utterly underdeveloped, and while I liked the concept to a certain extent and I thought that Offerman was pretty fantastic, the character development here felt so cliché and the actual build of the plot felt so skeletal.  It didn’t help that the characters all felt so displaced, like none of them belonged in the real world, and the character of Colin was borderline ‘Sid from ‘The Descendants’ territory’, to the point where I really wanted George Clooney to pop out of nowhere and punch him in the face, and I never want George Clooney to pop out of anywhere.

Oh wait, that was Robert Forster.  I like him.  He should have popped up in this movie.

Anyways, back to the point.  ‘The Kings of Summer’ tells the story of misunderstood teens (go figure) who are fed up with their misunderstanding parents (go figure) who decide that they would be better off alone (go figure).  They decide to build a house in the woods where no one can find them and basically disappear (yay, original idea) but then things get murky and complicated when they both fall for the same girl (go figure) and she chooses the one that is not the chief protagonist (go figure).  Things fall apart, friendships are skewed and eventually the protagonists father turns out to be a pretty great guy and amends are made (go figure).

But getting there was so…hollow.

I wanted more meat.  Instead we are given random shots of enjoyment and yet nothing to really build on, nothing to really make it all mesh together.  I think the focus on other things, like the girls and the parents, took away from what they really SHOULD have been developing, which was the friendship, comradery and innocence of the boys.

I mean, I love this concept despite the fact that I made fun of all the clichéd aspects, but there was no character development outside of the obvious.  It felt like ideas strung along with no real development.  The fact that I saw this just a week ago and honestly kept forgetting what movie it was that I watched is not a good sign.

But Offerman is pretty hilarious and honestly feels grounded, even if his delivery felt somewhat displaced from the film itself.  His arc (which isn’t really an arc since he was there the whole time and the only person who couldn’t see it was his son) is the nicest in the film, even if it is a walking cliché.

I give this a C+.  Like I said, it had it's moments and conceptually this had promise, but it fell so flat for me, where I expected it to soar.  So many of my friends and fellow-bloggers loved this.  I feel so out of touch and I feel like I'm wrong, but then me, I'm right.


  1. Well in your defense, Offerman's character in Parks and Rec is somewhat of an icon already and my personal role model :) I didn't love this movie either, but it was entertaining and funny enough.

    But yeah, TV is where the best things are nowadays!

    1. That's what I keep hearing, and with directors like Campion and Fincher making the switch, I really should get on board!

  2. I might never see this. It's one of those that I didn't get to when it was out, and I'll probably just keep putting it off, like a lot of TV shows that get rave reviews. ;)

  3. Man, you're opening paragraph is straight truth around these parts. Outside of sports, kid shows, and every other episode of SNL...I don't even need cable. If I have a minute...I want to watch a movie. Even a shitty one.

    As for this flick, it seems harmless enough. I like Offerman, but from what I gather here, there isn't much else going on. Maybe if I somehow stumble across it, I'll watch it.

    You know, when it's on TV.

    1. So true. Give me a movie any day. This was nice, but it lacked the substance that it could have had.

    2. Oh God, if you only knew how many epic boobs you are missing out on...didn't you learn anything from watching True Detective?! :)

    3. Yeah...I really need to watch more television.