The Kings of Summer is the story of Joe (Nick Robinson), a teenager who builds his own home in the woods so that he can live by his own rules. He can’t agree with his widowed father Frank (Nick Offerman) on anything.
Things turn to worse during a family game night. It is the first Monopoly game since Joe’s mother has died and his father invites a woman he is currently dating to it. Joe wants to run away from home where no one will find him. Then he finds a clearing in the woods by accident.
Joe asks his best friend Joe (Gabriel Basso) to join him. Joe’s parents are driving him crazy with their full attention on him all the time. Biaggio (Moises Arias) tags along. They build a house out of materials they find laying around.
The Kings of Summer was filmed in Ohio last summer. It was directed by Jordan Vogt-Roberts with the screenplay by Chris Galletta. They manage to capture the boys’ freedom from parental supervision as they run shirtless or dance around the fire.
The Kings of Summer shows how teens can enjoy life without video games, TV or smartphones. It is a funny coming-of-age movie that has some bits of suspense. It is a story of fractured friendships that is followed by heartfelt reconciliations.
Megan Mullaly, Offerman’s real life wife, plays the role of Patrick’s mother. Marc Evan Jackson plays Patrick’s father. Alison Brie of TV’s Mad Men and Community plays Joe’s older sister. Erin Moriarty is Joe’s dream girl in Kings of Summer.
The Kings of Summer could have been the perfect family movie if only it didn’t feature teen drinking and adult language. This is why it received an R rating. That means teens can’t legally buy tickets and watch the movie with their friends without the supervision of their parents.