Three teenagers struggling to grow up with their overbearing parents decide to run away from home and build a house for themselves in a clearing in the woods.
Playing out like ‘Ferris Bueller’s Month Off’, The Kings of Summer can’t help but fall to the somewhat hackneyed coming of age tropes. The three boys live out the teenage fantasy of being free, explore what it is to become an adult and find out what heartbreak feels like.
However, the film’s gentle sense of humour and rose-tinted glasses help the deja-vu ebb away. This isn’t a fantasy movie at all but it’s also not quite connected to the real world. It’s as if someone is telling the story as they remembered it, rather than as it played out.
Nick Robinson and Gabriel Basso are charming as the two leads Joe and Patrick, and Moises Arias plays Biaggo, a tag along friend there essentially to provide comic relief. They are a great trio and make up a huge part of what makes The Kings of Summer work.
The Kings of Summer is an easy to watch, funny and accessible film (and an impressive debut feature from director Jordan Vogt-Roberts). It doesn’t quite stick the landing which is a shame - things sort of peter out - but otherwise it is a solid entry into an over-populated genre.