Parents' Guide to

Best Summer Ever

By Jennifer Green, Common Sense Media Reviewer

age 13+

Joyous teen musical embraces inclusion; language, drugs.

Movie NR 2020 118 minutes
Best Summer Ever Poster Image

A Lot or a Little?

What you will—and won't—find in this movie.

Community Reviews

There aren't any parent reviews yet. Be the first to review this title.

Is It Any Good?

Our review:
Parents say Not yet rated
Kids say (1 ):

This fast-paced, feel-good movie with a message is sure to find an appreciative audience, but it may not draw significant viewers beyond those with a vested interest in the disabled community. That's because Best Summer Ever feels ultimately more concerned with representation than realism, portraying a mix of able-bodied and characters with disabilities that you won't find at most actual high schools. There is, of course, value in this proposal, and the film is still an undeniably fun watch. A kind of companion piece to award-winning 2020 documentary Crip Camp, this teen musical also starts at a real-life camp, Vermont-based Zeno Mountain Farm, that offers retreats for people with (and without) disabilities and other marginalized communities. (Zeno was also behind the 2014 documentary Becoming Bulletproof.)

The acting, singing, and dancing -- particularly from leads DeVido (voice) and Wilson (dance) -- are quite good, and obvious nods to Grease and Footloose are cute. There are a couple of awkward scenes and plot lines that feel off-tone for an otherwise innocent teen musical, like Sage's two drug-dealing moms, excessive swearing, and Beth's sometimes outrageous behavior (though the character, played by singer-actor Mumu, is entertainingly campy). But teens and parents can find plenty of positive messages here about inclusivity, self actualization, and compassion. Watch for cameos from some of the film's celebrity producers and a joyful behind-the-camera finale.

Movie Details

Inclusion information powered by

Did we miss something on diversity?

Research shows a connection between kids' healthy self-esteem and positive portrayals in media. That's why we've added a new "Diverse Representations" section to our reviews that will be rolling out on an ongoing basis. You can help us help kids by suggesting a diversity update.

Common Sense Media's unbiased ratings are created by expert reviewers and aren't influenced by the product's creators or by any of our funders, affiliates, or partners.

See how we rate