We will look back in the bleak future ahead, with the little time that is left, on the halcyon days of experiencing four seasons in a year. Long gone are the varying temperatures and conditions, replaced with unbearable searing heat that burns instantly on the flesh, forcing the handful of humans, that have manage to survive this far, underground, until the oncoming end of days.
This then will serve as not only as a coming of age flick, but also documenting the fact that seasons did indeed exist.
In the sleepy town of Midwood, Utah, four young girls and best friends, Mari (Eden Grace Redfield), Dina (Madalen Mills), Lola (Sanai Victoria) and Daisy (Lia Barnett), are seeing out the last days of summer together.
Not only that, but they are all on the cusp of big change in their lives, as they make the transition into middle school, which will effectively break their gang up.
So on one of their last days together, they do what they often do, wander around town, then go for a walk in the woods to their special place, where they have a tree decorated with their personal trinkets and offerings.
It’s whilst there that they make a discovery, one that will have a huge impact on how their summer ends.
With so many coming of age films focusing heavily on the bonding of the male of the species, it’s refreshing to see one featuring young women instead. Unfortunately, that’s about the only positive thing that can be said about this film.
Clearly director (and co-writer) James Ponsoldt was using the classic Stand by Me as his template, as his film borrows heavily from that film to the point that it’s almost eerily so.
But Pondsoldt would have to concede, especially where this script is concerned, that he’s no Stephen King (who wrote the novella The Body, on which Stand by me was based), for the way the premise of this film is delivered is particularly poor.
The whole film is held together by the discovery of a body the young girls find, but the way they manage the scenario is so weak, it makes the whole film pointless. The biggest mistake is their reasoning for not calling the police, which simply doesn’t come across as believable in the slightest. It’s made worse by the fact that one of the girls has a mother who is also a cop.
Pondsoldt then has them go on a lacklustre adventure, which goes nowhere, to the point where even the director appears to lose interest in his own storyline. His poor decision making unfortunately has repercussions on his bright young cast, who struggle with the weakness of the flimsy material, through no fault of their own.
Often it comes across as a really bad Hallmark production reboot of Stand by Me, resulting in the similar failure that happened with Paul Feig’s disappointing 2016 Ghostbusters.
It’s a shame as the film does occasionally have its talented young cast facing some interesting themes, as they ponder what their futures will be, and struggling with the notion of change that they’re all about to face. If it simply concentrated on this narrative, the film would have been far better for it, instead of flogging its dead body storyline.
Despite the odd nugget of an interest idea, the end of Summering can’t come soon enough.