I’m not a teenage boy, and I didn’t used to be. I never ran away from home to live in the woods for a month. Yet something about The Kings of Summer resonated with me.
This film isn’t the best I’ve seen this year and has its weaknesses, but where this small film shines is its impeccable ability to capture adolescence. I’ve read my share of young adult novels and seen more coming-of-age films than I care to admit, but this one may just be my new favorite.
The Kings of Summer expertly evokes something I can’t quite name in one neat phrase. The naivety that you have the power to conquer the world; the selfishness that what you are doing right now is the most important thing in the world; the arrogance that no one understands you and no one has or ever will feel as trapped as you do; the hope that the girl just might like you back; the utter devastation when it all comes falling down around you and you realize you were wrong. It’s all that neatly packaged into a beautiful little imperfect film, and I love it.