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faces and comic relief, they’re what’s pushing the kids away: Offerman plays ringleader Joe Toy’s (Nick Robinson) withdrawn, closed-off single father, while Mullally’s overbearing mother reminds her son Patrick (Gabriel Busso) of Street Fighter II’s burly green brawler Blanka.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 Wish I Was Here

    Wish I Was Here

    Zach Braff writes, directs and stars in his belated second feature about a man who begins to re-examine the relationships in his life after his father falls ill

  • Film4 A Walk Among The Tombstones

    A Walk Among the Tombstones

    Ex-New York cop turned unlicensed private detective Matt Scudder (Liam Neeson) hunts down two ruthless kidnappers, who target the wives of mid-level drug dealers with ready cash

  • Film4 Neighbouring Sounds

    Neighbouring Sounds on Film4

    Life in a middle-class Brazilian neighbourhood changes upon the arrival of an independent private security firm in Kleber Mendonca Fliho's assured debut on Film4

  • Film4 Ferris Bueller's Day Off

    Wheels In Motion Season On Film4

    It's a parade of motorcycles, trains and automobiles on Film4 as the Wheels In Motion Season gets rolling

  • Channel 4 Blog

    Joe Cunningham's 10 recommendations for LFF 14

    Unfortunately I haven¿t been jet setting around the world this year to the various exciting international film festivals, but that¿s what makes the London Film Festival¿s compilation approach to progr

  • Channel 4 Blog

    Michael Leader's 11 recommendations for LFF 2014

    One of the best things about the London Film Festival¿s smorgasbord approach to programming is that, amongst the world premieres and gala screenings, there¿s an eclectic collection of exciting films o

Register with Film4.com

Personalise your Film4 experience

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

or Register

Tweets @Film4

  • RT @MrBen_King: 🎬 Film of the Day: The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo (2009) 23:05 @Film4. Compelling Swedish noir crime thriller. ★★★★ http:/…

  • Our late night highlight at 2am is iconic road movie Vanishing Point, starring Barry Newman & Cleavon Little. http://t.co/qYrMayDD0f

  • Premiere alert! This Tuesday, we're screening Kleber Mendonca Fliho's Brazilian drama Neighbouring Sounds: http://t.co/68bRANuPPy

  • The Riot Club is in cinemas now! Catch our interview w/Douglas Booth, Sam Claflin & co at 8.50pm, or watch it here: http://t.co/hPd9vZ6luw

  • If you're off to the #LFF, check out our @catherinebray, @nevskyp & @JoeCunningham14's picks for what to see: http://t.co/VO3pDhNsCO

Share