Suddenly Summer (Movie Thoughts: Hot Summer Nights)

tumblr_p37rjqKK8o1vo5ua5o1_1280Happy July Fourth, and why not start it off with a summer-themed film, one with wholesome American values, like marijuana!

‘Hot Summer Nights’ is Timothee Chalamet’s follow-up feature after ‘Call Me By Your Name,’ amd just like the latter movie, takes place during a summer in a young man’s life. (The year is 1991)  I think comparison of the two films ends there. Elijah Bynum’s film is about Daniel, who in the course of the summer, gets involved in selling weed, and Chalamet here channels a bit of Tom Cruise here circa Risky Business. I think there’s no doubt that Chalamet is a great actor – he is charming and fearless and fun to watch here, but his performance alone cannot elevate a tepid and familiar script. You have seen all this before, and sometimes better. I can’t think of any original idea here. Chalamet plays well with Alex Roe, who plays Hunter, the guy who lures Daniel into a life of crime. There’s a romantic distraction as Daniel falls for the hot chick in town, played by Maika Monroe, but they are all shiny objects trying to highlight an empty room. The whole cast deserve better than this bloated almost-two-hour film, and the audience does too.