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As a male just entering his 30s, it is now fully acceptable to get slightly wistful about my mid-teens, despite the tumultuousness of the time period. It always seems to be more pleasurable to remember the overall emotions of the time rather than the specifics. This is why most coming of age tales fall flat, because their stories are weighed down with a load of detailed moments instead of weaving moments through a specific tone. And it doesn’t help that technology is severely changing what it means to be a teenager.
The Sundance hit The Kings of Summer just might be the next entry in that small catalog of perfectly pitched coming of age flicks. It’s directed by first time feature-helmer Jordan Vogt-Roberts, who directed episodes of Funny or Die Presents as well as the Comedy Central show Mash Up, and the script was written by first timer Chris Galletta. So it’s got the perfect amount of indie cred going for it. What else does it need? Oh yeah, a wildly enjoyable trailer that captures the energetic spirit of adolescence without burying it beneath sex, drugs and melodrama.
One of the most important aspects of being young – to me, anyway – is exploring the world around you, and finding out your place in it. Escaping the suffocating drudgeries of their home lives, teens Joe (Nick Robinson), Biaggio (Moises Arias) and Patrick (Gabriel Basso) steal into the woods to build themselves a summer home, free from all other responsibilities. Presumably hiding away from their families with their best friends will be trying for the boys on many levels, and harsh words and apologies will definitely enter into it. I never before wanted to run away from home to build a shelter in the forest, but now I wish I'd been given the chance to, even though I'd still turn it down.
The film is further fleshed out by the boys’ families, played in by Nick Offerman, Megan Mullally, Alison Brie, Michael Cipiti and Marc Evan Jackson. Oh, and Mary Lynn Rajskub will play a detective. And from the trailer alone, it’s obvious that these guys aren’t just stepping into stereotypical roles, and will add to the audience’s frustration over how somebody could possibly want to run away from Nick Offerman as a father.
The Kings of Summer, originally titled Toy’s House, will hit theaters on May 31. While you’re waiting, revisit the rhythmic teaser released last month.