A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this movie.
Poetry and other arts can allow people to communicate universal truths and experiences. Revealing your experiences can encourage compassion and empathy from others. You can gain the courage to live freely by expressing yourself. Deals with mature themes including mental, emotional, and physical abuse.
Positive Role Models
Characters use poetry to create connections with other characters and with viewers. Poetry is a vehicle for characters to express their inner feelings and regain confidence from past traumas. Complex representations of LGBTQ+ characters, female characters, and characters of color (including those who overlap multiple groups). One character addresses the Asian "model minority" myth by referencing how people thought he would be great at school because he's Asian).
Violence & Scariness
Discussions of violence in several poems, including familial abuse and homophobia, suicidal ideation and violent fantasies. A character throws a burger at another person. A character pretends to violently choke on food toward the beginning of the film. A crushed beetle.
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Sex, Romance & Nudity
Descriptions of sexuality and sex in some poems, including the description of "really short fingernails" and "coming" in relation to sex. One character accuses another character of cheating with the phrase, "she f----d him."
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Swear words and phrases include "hell," "f--k," "f---ed all the way up," "f---ing," "ass," "f--k you," "a--hole," "motherf---ing," "damn," and "bitch." The slur "dyke" is used by a lesbian character in a reclaiming sense. A character sticks up his middle fingers. Words that could be considered ableist like "crazy" and "stupid" are used. Exclamatory uses of "oh God" and "oh my God."
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Products & Purchases
A character uses Yelp to post restaurant reviews.
Drinking, Drugs & Smoking
Mentions of CBD gummies, smoking. Two characters rap outside of a marijuana dispensary.
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Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that Summertime is a spoken-word film that weaves together the stories of 25 characters throughout a day in Los Angeles. Expect lots of swearing ("hell," "f--k," "a--hole," "damn," "bitch," etc.), and the slur "dyke" is used by a lesbian character in a reclaiming sense. There are also mentions of CBD gummies and smoking, some sexual discussion/descriptions, and descriptions of violence -- including familial abuse and homophobia, suicidal ideation and violent fantasies. Ultimately, the movie has a clearly positive message about how poetry and other arts can allow people to communicate universal truths and experiences. To stay in the loop on more movies like this, you can sign up for weekly Family Movie Night emails.
Is It Any Good?
Prospective viewers of Summertime should know off the top that this bold film is like a musical -- except instead of musical numbers, there's poetry. It's really good poetry, but Summertime still might not be for you if you're not a poetry fan. (Confession: Poetry isn't this reviewer's favorite thing.) But if you are into poetry, specifically spoken word or slam poetry, then Summertime is right up your alley.
The poems are introspective and relevant to issues that are both specific to Gen Z and more universal. Some of the themes include fissures in relationships between parents and children, self-discovery, the pains of adulthood made worse by an increasingly capitalistic society, and longings for acceptance. Darker themes -- including mental, emotional, and physical abuse -- are also present in the poets-turned-actors' spoken pieces. The characters take turns being in the proverbial spotlight, and while it may seem hard to follow at first, eventually you see the culmination of all of their stories creating the fabric of Los Angeles, where dreams, hopes, and unsavory realities collide into a relatable, inspiring, film about finding the freedom to be yourself.
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.