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[Sundance ’22] ‘Summering’ review: Can we never not be friends?

One last weekend.

Summering is a Sundance Film Festival screening that is reminiscent of 1986’s Stand by Me. A group of four friends are spending what may be their last summer together. When they find a dead body, it leads them on an adventure that solidifies their bond. As they work together to try to discover what has happened, the face questions about growing up and where the friendship they share with each other are headed.

The movie opens with a moment that will immediately make audiences think back to their childhood. The four girls are carefree, have conversations that would only make sense to pre-teens, and walk with the aimless purpose that does not exist later in life. Summering is able to keep up this sense of nostalgia the entire time. The driving force behind the plot is forced and requires decisions that are odd even for kids. That being said, it does not negatively impact the film and is the set up for great scenes later on.

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Things move at a pace that gives the sense of urgency regarding the mystery the girls are trying to solve. However, the real focus is the friendship between the four. Conversations and subtle gestures show how strong their friendship is. Even before the plot heats up, they talk about what the future hold for them. Everything culminates in a final scene that many will be able to relate to.

Summering gives insight into all the home lives of each character. Some of the parents give great performances, and there is even some nuance to the mothers. The movie also spends enough time with the adults to flesh out their characters without taking away from the themes of growing up and friendship. Stories about that last magical summer are some of the most popular. They serve as reminders of a simpler time while also providing adventure and fun. While Summering does not have the epic quality of some of the classics of the genre, it is a cute watch that anyone can enjoy.

The Sundance Film Festival is online January 20- January 30. Tickets can be purchased and a full lineup can be found here.

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