CHANNEL 4 4SEVEN E4 MORE4 FILM4 4MUSIC 4oD

Viewing your Watchlist and recommended content requires Javascript

  • 15
  • Comedy, Drama
  • 2013
  • 95 mins

The Kings Of Summer

Film4

Synopsis

Three teenagers seek freedom from their mundane suburban lives by fleeing their families, building a makeshift house in the woods and fending for themselves.

About

At first glance, The Kings Of Summer looks like your typical Sundance flick: a nostalgic portrait of suburban childhood, propped up by a host of television stars let off the hook in supporting roles. However, director Jordan Vogt-Roberts and writer Chris Galletta’s long list of influences – which includes Millions, Son Of Rambow and Stand By Me – reveals greater ambitions.

Like those touchstones, The Kings Of Summer both captures the adventurous spirit of youth and treats its characters’ problems seriously, which is done with great heart in this story of troubled teens who run away from home and build a house in a secluded clearing in a local forest. Sure, there are delightful turns from the likes of Parks And Recreation’s Nick Offerman and Will & Grace’s Megan Mullally as the boys’ parents, but they serve as more than just familiar faces and comic relief, they’re what’s pushing the kids away: Offerman plays ringleader Joe Toy’s (Nick Robinson) withdrawn, closed-off single father, while Mullally’s overbearing mother reminds her son Patrick (Gabriel Busso) of Street Fighter II’s burly green brawler Blanka.

Playing at times like the best bits of JJ Abrams’ Super 8 (which also starred Busso), The Kings Of Summer sees its teenage characters clinging onto the unbridled innocence of youth, while yearning for the maturity and freedom of adulthood. By simultaneously representing both their unattainable ideal of a Jack London-type frontiersman existence and their desire for a place of their own, the house they build (Toy’s House, as the film’s original title calls it) is a melting pot of masculine themes – and The Kings Of Summer plays these out with both humour and warmth.

Cast & Connections

  • Actor: Megan Mullally, Nick Offerman
  • Producer: Peter Saraf

In a nutshell

Rich in suburban subtext, The Kings Of Summer is a coming-of-age indie movie full of poignancy, charm and strong performances.

by Michael Leader

Latest from Film4...

  • Film4 Just Wright

    Just Wright

    Queen Latifah plays a physical therapist falling for Common's recovering basketball pro in this romantic comedy

    On Film4: 27 Jul 1:00PM

  • Film4 Grand Central

    Grand Central

    Gary (Tahar Rahim) falls into both a job and a love-triangle at a nuclear power plant, as he develops a powerful attraction to the fiancee (Léa Seydoux) of his new boss

  • Film4 Betty Blue

    Betty Blue on Film4

    Béatrice Dalle stars as the beautiful and unpredictable Betty Blue in Jean-Jacques Beineix's romantic drama on Film4

  • Film4 Sleepy Hollow

    Sleepy Hollow on Film4

    Johnny Depp stars in Tim Burton's spooky tale about a man named Ichabod Crane who is sent to investigate decapitations being attributed to the legendary Headless Horseman

Register with Film4.com

Personalise your Film4 experience

  • Set film reminders
  • Build your watchlist
  • Get film suggestions

or Register

Tweets @Film4

  • Next up on Film4 it's The Great Sioux Massacre. Catch the Joseph Cotten-starring Western at 12.45.

  • Dirk Bogarde's army lawyer defends Tom Courtenay's deserter in classic World War I drama King And Country in 5 minutes on Film4.

  • Morning all! First up on Film4 at 11 is the searing war drama King and Country, starring Dirk Bogarde & Tom Courtenay http://t.co/uoGOunwys2

  • RT @MrBen_King: 🎬Film of the Day: Aliens (1986) 22:50 @Film4. Terrifying sci-fi horror thriller sequel, Sigourney Weaver stars. ★★★★★ http:…

  • "Get away from her..." James Cameron's Aliens has just started on Film4, starring the magnificent Sigourney Weaver.

Share