EliteLamo | Manhattan Proper | 05/02/2007
(3 out of 5 stars)
"ok so it doesn't have star power, most of the world has never heard it before, and it certainly had a limited theatrical release, if any, but ya know what, it's one of those feel good films you watch, and think "An American Summer," is pure American from start to finish. It is grossly watchable, despite its sometimes nauseous teenage sentimental tones.
When I picked this movie up at the rental store, it was nearer to June of my 13th or 14th year, and my summer in a beach resort town was just beginning, and I loved this movie so much, as I could relate as a lost youth coming to a big beach town. I think I kept it for a week or two longer than I should of. Part 'North Shore', part 'Paradise' (Griffith, Johnson), part 'Huckleberry Finn' .
Take your typical lonely boy, Tom, the movies main focal point, all of 14, (looks more 16 in film), displaced from middle America, (Chicago), who goes to LA, after his parents divorce, to what? (cope) and live with his totally-bohemian Aunt (played splendidly by Joanna Kerns of 'Growing Pains' fame) in a beach house. He struggles with accepting this new, laid back lifestyle, but begins to fit in nicely, when he meets Fin (perfect name, for this perfect role, for Brian Austin Green at this perfect age). This budding friendship turn it into a splendid summer, when Fin teaches Tom how to surf, and opens Tom to another lifestyle foreign to Tom. It turns into a summer never to forget with a nice mix of intrigue, falling in love with that sentimental teenage angst, and a barney gone surf fanatic, with some suprising beautiful cinematography, rounds it all off quite nicely, if a bit lame. Many 'film die-hards' may find this movie extremely lackluster, with trite dialouge, and its overt iconic symbolism towards Mark Twain (boys in this film are called Huck and Fin), however, like Henry Miller said, 'Twain is for adolescents.' Thus is "An American Summer'. Even with that said, it was hard to pull myself away from it, at 13 years old, and 15 years later. Go remember your beach youth, buy it!
Brian Austin Green, stars in a great role made for him at his age, I assume around 15 at the time, as teenage typical surf boy Fin. He plays the part perfectly, totally stereotypical of how a cali surf boy talks and acts. It's refreshing to see him in something other than what he was most reknown for, his star role on 90210. He really looks very beautiful in this film, and the camera really grabs that youthful, lusty image well.
I had forgotten about this movie for a decade and a half at least, and to come across it again while perusing through some obscure films, was like a walk down my own memory lane, and the splendid, wonderous summers that I too had, just like Tom did, in his implant in 1990's southern Cali!!"