Three teenage friends escape to their handbuilt oasis in the forest, but civilization finds a way in
In a landscape filled with sprawling meadows, rocky rivers, and a giant evergreen forest, the beautifully-crafted The Kings Of Summer- a unique coming-of-age comedy about three teenage friends-takes us on an adventure. Our heroes travel to an uncharted land untouched by adult hands, to a mysterious place . . . in Ohio. Specifically, the aptly-named Chagrin Falls, Ohio.
It is here, while fleeing from a lunatic breaking up a bacchanalian teen beach party, young Joe Toy (Nick Robinson) finds peace. Here, he will escape the droll, bossy despondency of his widowed father (the hilarious Nick Offerman, of Parks and Recreation). Joe has called the cops one too many times on the old man; now neither of them need cry wolf again.
Joe’s friend Patrick (Gabriel Basso) is goaded into escape his own preening, prying parents, played with teeth-grating charm by Megan Mullally (from Will & Grace) and Marc Evan Jackson. The two boys plan a life of rugged male-bonding solitude, a dynamic quickly disrupted by their unwanted classmate, the irrepressibly strange and eccentric Biaggio (the astonishing Moises Arias). With his hysterical gift for weird non-sequiturs, misguided openness and daring physical mishaps, the oddball boy quickly wheedles his way into the team.
In the ultimate act of independence, these friends decide to spend their summer building a house in the woods. The young men figure to build a dream home, albeit one with a porta-potty door, and intend to live off the land (and a Boston Market up the road). In this macho haven, where the boys cultivate their wispy pubescent facial hair, the trio believe they can live free of parental oppression and feminine tension. But these things have a way of creeping in (perhaps because secretly the boys want them). When the outside world penetrates their oasis, the boys’ friendship and ideals are tested, and they question the meaning and true desires of their rebellion. Free from their parents’ rules, their idyllic summer quickly becomes a test of friendship as each boy learns to appreciate the fact that family - whether it is the one you’re born into or the one you create – is something you can't run away from.
Premiering to rave reviews at the 2013 Sundance Film Festival, The Kings of Summer is a witty, refreshing, and intelligent comedy that touches on the core feelings of misunderstanding and depression that can break a family apart – like soggy wontons in your soup.