‘Summer Night’ is a coming of age romantic dramedy that follows a group of friends as they juggle the complexity and uncertainty of love and romance on a sultry summer night in a small Californian town.
Seth (Ian Nelson) and Taylor (Callan McAuliffe) spend the day in anticipation for their rock band’s performance at their town’s local bar, The Alamo. But a day that begins promising and vibrant so turns left when Seth finds out that his girlfriend, Mel (Analeigh Tipton) is pregnant. While the film gives no background into their relationship history, you get the feeling that Seth sometimes prioritizes his band above his girlfriend. Mel really needing support, expects Seth to be there for her but this news couldn’t have come at a worst time for Seth as he prepares for his band’s performance. This leaves Mel feeling abandoned and wondering if either of them is ready for a child.
While biking through the woods, Taylor is attacked and mugged. Stumbling out of the woods bruised and bloodied, he finds Dana (Ella Hunt) sitting by a pond. She helps clean up his wounds and— sensing some romantic sparks between the two — he invites her to The Alamo to listen to him play. However, tension arises between his new love interest and his past flame, Vanessa (Melina Vidler) throughout the night.
Another friend, Jameson (Ellar Coltrane) also has a new love interest, Harmony ( Victoria Justice.) But Jameson finds himself unable to stop thinking about a friend that he has feelings for, Corin (Elena Kampouris.) Meanwhile, Rabbit ( Bill Milner) is left reeling from the fact that the girl he’s been dating, Lexi (Lana Condor,) had sex with another guy.
All of this romantic angst cumulates on a summer night filled with music, drinking, and uncertainty about what the future holds as these characters are forced to wreckin with decisions that will define their young adulthood and possibly alter their lives forever.
Summer Night is definitely a slow paced film with a lot going on that matches well with that summer vibe of having a lot of free time with not much to do while being lost in a fun and hazy night filled with shenanigans. Music also takes up a huge part of the film as the actors actually get on stage, play instruments, and perform. Also, this may be a romance film but it’s definitely dominated by a male perspective with the women in the film being used as props to determine how the lives of the men in the film will change. For this reason, Summer Night feels more like a coming of age story for a group of guy friends rather than for the couples as a whole.
Overall, Summer Night was enjoyable, fun, and nostalgic. This film is actor Joseph Cross’ (Big Little Lies) directorial debut and premieres in theaters July 12.