There appears to be a fascination with looking back at nostalgic 90’s and 00’s memorabilia and references ranging from Gameboys to Arthur on CBBC. Even as youthful university students we often reminisce about our childhood and early teenage years when we would go and play in the park, woods or any place where there was potential for mess and imagination.
The 2013 film The Kings of Summer encapsulates many teenagers’ frustrations when the clashing of personalities starts to occur with parental figures. Nick Offerman (Parks and Recreation) plays the father of Joe (Nick Robinson) and unintentionally pushes his son to leave home to build a house in the woods with two of his friends.
Whilst many would not rather dwell on pointless arguments had with parents, this film also shows the amount of fun that was had discovering friendships and developing a sense of freedom being a teenager. The film offers a sense of nostalgia as the teens bicker about trivial issues whilst still trying to work out where life is taking them. The Kings of Summer arguably may not be as relevant to some children and teens today with worldy objects such as technology seeming to be more of an expectation than a desire to explore. Many though, may discover memories of going out to play with friends and enjoying a relatively carefree lifestyle.
The Kings of Summer will remind you that whilst you may be feeling life is becoming a strange place in the world of adulthood, you’re still young. Feelings of developing more freedom as shown in the film are extremely relatable to many Freshers who have moved away from home for the first time and are without the parental safety net. On top of offering some relatable sensibilities it also has a unique soundtrack, as discussed in our recent scrapbook.
The Kings of Summer offers a light-hearted look back at feelings of being an early teenager who is just that bit too young to move out and/or get a job. To look at this film through a critical lens, one will potentially find flaws in the character and plot, but the beauty of the picture is that one needn’t do so. It is fun and doesn’t try too hard with its limited budget and a modest cast; it achieves a lot with so little. So if you’re feeling old, give it a watch, and maybe you’ll remember what it feels like to be young and free of coursework deadlines once more.
Where Can I Watch It?
The Kings of Summer can be purchased from DVD and Blu-ray retailers, though Film4 often schedule to air the film on television.
Writer and Editor for the Film & TV section of Impact, Bharat is a keen previewer, reviewer and sometimes just viewer, of all things cinematic and televisual, with a particular passion for biographical pictures, adaptations and sitcoms.