Monday, June 3, 2013

The Kings of Summer

A miserable little movie called "The Kings of Summer" represents everything wrong with Sundance (where it was warmly received). Jordan Vogt-Roberts has directed a comedy devoid of laughs, built on a failed foundation of quirk-filled characters where the human beings are supposed to go, delivered in the snide, self-satisfied style of way, way too much of today's humor. Not one character, action, or line of dialogue rings true to any human experience outside of Movieland. I hated it so much that not only did I walk out, but I'd sooner have sat through "After Earth" a second time than walk back in.

It's about two high school friends named Joe and Patrick who detest their parents. You would too. As played without any craft by Nick Offerman and Megan Mullallly, they're nasty and oblivious and not worthy of anyone's respect. Joe and Patrick loathe them so much, they chuck everything and go build a house in the woods - well, the woods right off the interstate there in Cleveland. Tagging along with them is a truly detestable character named Biaggio (normal everyday name, right?), who's weird and quiet and creepy and lets hack screenwriter Chris Galletta indulge his taste for tics and quirks without restraint.

Here is this movie's idea of comedy. Before the kids go roughing it, Joe and his family order Chinese food, which is delivered by an Indian man. (Laughing yet?) They yell at him for several minutes because the wontons in the wonton soup are too big to eat. (Now?) Offerman tells him he's having the kind of day where it feels like someone is [urinating] in his face, and the deliveryman asks him, "Is that good or bad?" If you enjoy that, or if you like extended scenes of snakes baring their fangs inches from teenagers' crotches, run out and see "The Kings of Summer."

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