film reel image

film reel image

Wednesday, June 22, 2022

Summer Days, Summer Nights 2018 * * Stars


2018's Summer Days, Summer Nights is directed by Edward Burns. Watching the film, you feel like it drew from Ed's experiences as a teen living on Long Island. On paper, "Summer Days" seems legit. You know with its block parties, its beaches, and its coming-of-age, summer love. On screen however, the results can seem mixed. This is even with the narrative of "Summer Days" kinda making you feel like you've spent a summer with these beach blanket, be bop characters.

So yeah, Summer Days, Summer Nights is about summer on Strong Island circa 1982. Past romantic flings arise, new ones come into focus, and plenty of brewsky-s are drunk. In the middle of all of it is co-star and Greek chorus Eddie Burns. He plays the dad of one of the lover boys cause well, that's what he does. Burns is a decent actor but his script for "Summer Days" needed to be a little tighter. I mean something more than a burned out 90210 episode.

Feeling like a PG rated version of Hot Summer Nights and/or '93's Dazed and Confused (talk about being restrained), Summer Days, Summer Nights is swiftly-paced but strangely uninteresting in its first two acts. As for its setting of sunny Reagan Era, the flick doesn't get its time and place right except for the 70s/80s soundtrack (which is quite good actually). Hairstyles and clothing suggest the 90s, cars suggest the 60s, and hey, no one says "radical" or "awesome".

Burns can certainly tell a story (or interconnecting stories) but this is a misguided attempt at inner nostalgia. His subjects involved aren't exactly the most likable people. Most of the young adults in "Summer Days" are wishy-washy, sort of conspicuous, a little soap opera, and hey, nothing of import really comes out of their mouths. At a rating of 2 stars, Summer Days, Summer Nights is nearly a summer "bummer".

Written by Jesse Burleson

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