Tribeca 2018 Film Review: Ed Burns’ ‘Summertime’ Is The Feel-Good Film That We Need This Summer

Summertime dir. Edward Burns
'Summertime' focuses on three stories connect by a time and place, Long Island, summer of ‘83. We begin with JJ (Pico Alexander), a kid who just graduated high-school, and is about to spend his summer before college working at his father’s (played by Ed Burns) beach club in Long Island. His plans are thrown out of the window when his girlfriend breaks up with him. JJ’s next door neighbor Winky (Rita Volk) has her plans disrupted too when her rich boyfriend leaves her behind to go backpacking through Europe. The third story is of Suzy (Caitlin Stasey), a young woman who comes back home from LA and rekindles with an old flame (Anthony Ramos).

All characters are well-developed and when there’s heartbreak you feel for them; You equally root for them when they stand up for what they believe in. JJ and Debbie (Lindsey Morgan) have great chemistry and their dialogue doesn’t ever feel forced or fall into the usual tropes of younger high-school kid falling for older college student. Winky and Terry (Amadeus Serafini) experience the usual love-hate storyline that could have felt overplayed but the two actors are able to create enough tension and humorous moments to make it work. Lastly, the storyline between Suzy and Frankie might be the most frustrating one because it is pretty clear where things will be heading, yet you can’t help but to watch and let the emotions flow.

What I loved about the film, other than the great casting of all characters, was the music and locations. These two elements really brought this film to another level. There’s some classic period jams that a lot of people will love and they feel part of the movie, not just there for the nostalgia factor. As for the locations, as Ed Burns discussed at the talk after the film, they feel 100% authentic because they were hand-picked by him from places he used to go to and/or grew up around.

The film while long maintains a pace that is exciting enough for you to forget its actual length (a bit over two hours). Don't miss this film when it comes to a theater near you, you won't regret it!

Check out some video highlights below of the TalkBack with writer/director Edward Burns:

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