Irish lad comes of age when The King passes away.
ThAugustine | Shorewood, WI | 02/21/1999
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Origially titled "Last of the High Kings", this film apparently has been released in the US as "Summer Fling". The new title is horrible but by any title, this film is worth seeking out. It is a coming of age tale about Frankie and his friends and family. The story is set in the summer of 1977 to the music of Frankie's favourite band, Thin Lizzy. Jared Leto plays Frankie. His family is ruled by his Mother, played to perfection by SCTV alum Catherine O'Hara. His father, an actor, influences Frankie's life most notably by his frequent absences. Gabriel Byrne, also the co-writer, plays the father. Jason Barry, bearing a striking resemblance to Ewan McGregor, plays one of Frankie's friends who has an obsession with bringing Elvis Presley to perform in Ireland. Christina Ricci also appears briefly but notably as an Irish-American visiting from Milwaukee. (The Milwaukee audience I saw the film with got a big kick out of that reference.) Leonard Maltin's guide mistakenly identifies the mother as pro-protestant, but in fact she is Irish Catholic through and through. What causes conflict for Frankie is when he acts on his lust for the town's two most popular girls. They are protestant and one is backing a candidate for the Labour Party in the parlimentary election. Though the story takes place twenty years ago, the events of the election, and the character of the Conservative Party candidate played by Colm Meaney may strike a chord with Americans. I'll say no more at the risk of giving away too much of the story. It's a shame the title has been changed for American audiences. "Last of the High Kings" is a title which better fits the story. Frankie's mother frequently refers to her children as descendents of the High Kings of Ireland. The King of Rock and Roll's death and life touched people around the world. This is a small film with a big heart. I raise a pint to director David Keating and the "Last of the High Kings"."
Unique Coming of Age
jman | Des Moines, IA United States | 05/10/2001
(4 out of 5 stars)
"After I graduated from high school, I was wishing I could find a movie or a book that dealt with the unique emotions of standing at a precipice in your life--between childhood, and the real world."Summer Fling" hit the spot! It is one of the rare movies out there that actually deal with this time in life that no one else seems to portray. Jared Leto is excellent in his role as Frankie, the eldest sibling in his eccentric brood. A kind, seemingly-average boy whose unsure of himself and the future, he experiences mixed emotions the summer after school. Gabriel Byrne and Catherine O'Hara also fit their roles perfectly as his unconventional but loving parents.Christina Ricci's character is small but very memorable--an American who stays at Frankie's house for a couple of days, and falls for him, despite the fact that he doesn't like her. Her last words to him: " Where I come from, you tell someone if you like them, and even if they don't like you back, they don't treat you like a moron", leaves an indelible impression on Frankie. Towards the end, Frankie talks to his father and his father tells him: "The world is waiting for you". Frankie responds: "I think it's a little too much."This is a great movie for anyone out there who is also coming of age. It's a small movie you shouldn't miss!"
Summer of Love, Exams and Elvis!!
Kelly George | London, England | 01/16/2002
(4 out of 5 stars)
"A summer in Ireland where anythings possible. Set in Ireland I was amazed by the quality of the actors accents. Jared Leto and Cathrine O'Hara being American I thought they sounded like natural irish folk. Christina Ricci only had a small role but it was memorable as the American gal who cheerleads and tries to seduce Jared Leto. The family brawls and the love of politics make Summer Fling a funny and dramatic look at life after school exams and the summer counting down the days to your results. Well worth a watch!!"
Kelly George | 01/23/1999
(4 out of 5 stars)
"I think this movie was pretty cool because it was a different type of role for Jared Leto, who played Frankie. It takes place in Ireland and it's about a Frankie a teenager that just gratuated from high school and is looking forward to having fun in the summer. This movie deals with Frankies problems with his mother (Katherine O'Hara) who only wants him to date a certain religion , his father (Gabriel Byrne) who is always away acting, getting enough courage to talk to these two girls who he's obsessed with, and of course planning a huge beach party at the end of the summer. Christina Ricci is also in this film but only for about 10 - 15 minutes. It's a witty, charming movie that will make you laugh...a lot. Definetely see it!"