Entertainment » Movies

Something Like Summer (Twist, NewFest)

by Kilian Melloy
Sunday Oct 8, 2017
'Something Like Summer'
'Something Like Summer'  

Director David Berry's screen adaptation of Jay Bell's novel "Something Like Summer" (with screenplay by Carlos Pedraza) starts off like an After School Special, but then -- like its characters -- the film grows up.

The story begins in high school, where out, bullied Benjamin (Grant Davis) falls in love with popular, athletic Tim Wyman (Davi Santos). A clumsily engineered "chance" encounter sparks an unlikely friendship that leads to an even more unlikely romance, but Tim -- the son of homophobic religious parents -- feels pressured to keep things secret. Needless to say, the boys' relationship doesn't end well.

Fast forward to Benjamin's college years; he's relocated from Chicago to Austin, at the invitation of best gal pal Alison (Ajiona Alexus). He's also got a new boyfriend, a flight attendant named Jace Holden (Ben Baur). When Tim resurfaces, years after having ended their high school love affair, things between Benjamin and Jace get complicated.

Berry uses musical set pieces to get into the heads and hearts of his characters; these fall somewhere between music videos and numbers from traditional cinematic musicals. The story, which is unexpectedly complex, follows Benjamin, Tim, Alison, and Jace as they mature, and the likable cast does a fine job of transitioning from their depictions of characters in their teens to their late twenties. The whole journey takes a little less than two hours, but it feels like you've watched five or six six seasons of a "Dawson's Creek"-style show. If this were a TV series, it would be a guilty pleasure.

While the film never escapes the realm of melodrama, it does strike emotionally resonant chords, finding spots of surprising tenderness and sweetness. It's also a bit of a tearjerker, so bring a hankie.

Appearing at Twist: For tickets and more information: http://www.twistfilmfest.org

Appearing at NewFest. For tickets and more information: http://newfest.org

Kilian Melloy serves as EDGE Media Network's Assistant Arts Editor. He also reviews theater for WBUR. His professional memberships include the National Lesbian & Gay Journalists Association, the Boston Online Film Critics Association, The Gay and Lesbian Entertainment Critics Association, and the Boston Theater Critics Association's Elliot Norton Awards Committee.

Comments on Facebook