Posts Tagged ‘“Hot Summer Nights”’

Timothee Chalamet


107 minutes | MPAA rating: R

For his feature writing/directing debut Elijah Bynum has assembled an impressive cast (including “Call Me By Your Name’s” Oscar-nominated Timothy Chalamet) and delivered a stylish and great-looking movie.

Too bad it can’t overcome the script’s near-fatal shortcomings.

Basically this is a coming-of-age story, but while most such efforts mine the lighthearted and comedic, “Hot Summer…” veers into serious, even deadly territory.

Daniel (Chalamet) is a grumpy teen whose single mom sends him off to spend the summer with a (unseen) relative on Cape Cod.  There the kid is exposed to the dual worlds of the rich vacationing “summer birds” and the blue collar townies.

Almost from the first frame Bynum announces he’s going to push the envelope.  The opening sequences are narrated by a 13-year-old boy (we never get his name) who lives year-round on the Cape and describes (“I  can’t swear to every last detail…”) how this particular summer (1991) saw the birth of a local legend.

Early on Daniel falls under the influence of Hunter Strawberry (Alex Roe), a sort of James Dean-ish heartthrob who wears a black leather jacket on hot summer days and still manages to look cool.

Hunter is a shady but charismatic character whom the local kids believe to have committed a murder (we get a montage of talking-head youngsters attesting to his awesomeness). That claim seems doubtful, but  the local law certainly would love to nail him for peddling weed to the summer birds.

Hunter and Daniel contract with Dex, a local marijuana wholesaler (Emory Cohen), to distribute ever-bigger shipments of grass.  Daniel is the instigator of this rapid expansion; he has cousins all over the East Coast who become his ground-level dealers.

Pretty soon Daniel and Hunter are rolling in green.


Read Full Post »