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The Kings of Summer
A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this movie.
What parents need to know
- Parents say
- Kids say
What's the story?
Is it any good?
Coming-of-age movies are generally a dime a dozen, but with this one, first-time writer Chris Galletta and Funny or Die veteran director Jordan Vogt-Roberts have created a breath of fresh air. The witty characters take action in their world and are allowed to succeed and fail alternately. They feel real and sympathetic, in spite of the cartoony nature of the movie's humor.
And although the parents are definitely stereotypes, they're also smart and allowed to fail, and they likewise earn our sympathy. The director employs many simple moments of life unrelated to the plot -- such as the opening "drumming" scene -- to add a specific summery, relaxed, wide-open mood to the movie. The casting and performances are faultless, and the three young leads make a terrific comedy trio together, generating a specific, unique chemistry. The Kings of Summer could become a young person's classic, destined to be rediscovered by subsequent generations.
Talk to your kids about ...
- Families can talk about whether strong language is/should be enough of a reason to restrict teens from seeing a movie about characters their age. Teens: How prevalent is swearing in your life? Does it make a movie more or less relatable to you when it has that kind of language?
- Kings of Summer shows teens drinking in two scenes. Could the movie have done without these scenes? Are there consequences for the drinking? Are they realistic?
- What's the relationship between the teen characters and their parents? Are these relationships realistic or exaggerated for humor?
- What's the most important thing the characters learn in this story?
Themes & Topics
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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.