Summer Eleven Reviews
Four girls who are school friends hang out over the summer and bond. One aspires to be an actress, another is waiting for her brother to come home from Iraq, the third has issues with her mom's boyfriend, and the fourth is hiding her family's situation from everybody else. And they will be going to middle school. Sounds like one of those Lifetime mov-- oh wait, it already is (or it will be).
The title is very bad. Is it supposed to be set in the summer of 2011, or did I miss the first 10 movies? Couldn't they at least have named it "Summer Number Eleven"? Plus, the production values seem low. I wasn't expecting it to compare to a Hollywood flick, no no. But they're a bit roughly handled for an indie that it makes it feel cheap. Poorly cut in some instances. That soccer game feels more clumsily edited than most fast-paced action movies (Battle LA) these days. Peri and her little brother look like stoners every time they stare at something. The song "My Time Now" increases annoyance, and is thus blotted out of my memory quickly. Does it want to be a coming-of-age tale or a tearjerker? It doesn't provide enough nostalgia and certainly didn't make one apt to reach for a hankie, so it fails at being both.
The valuable thing it does have is that it handles issues rather realistically. And it doesn't go into stock cliche happily-ever-after mode, but instead grounds itself down to earth by giving out results that actually happen. Gone is the "OMG, Fabulous!!" superficiality that gets to girls this age, and the movie soars for it. That is one strong group of girls, and they can act! Same with the adults. I can see how many will enjoy this. This doth have potential, and hints at the poignant film it could become if given more time and effort.
I wanted to appreciate it because (finally!) this is a PG movie that is the exception to the "all kid's movies are dumb" rule that supposedly exists in today's world. However, it lacks the fun and freshness that could've lightened the movie up a bit from its super-serious territory. It's not bad; great for the female audience (but not necessarily recommended for the younger set).