Sunday, July 28, 2013

Movie Review - The Perfect Summer

I love that we now h ave  DirectTV because it means with have the UP Channel which used to be GMC.  A few weeks ago I set up the movie "The Perfect Summer" for a little weekend viewing.  The weekend got away from me though.  So here's a ittle review time. 

The Perfect Summer
Swirl Films
Level Path Productions
Word Entertainment
Up Entertainment

Starring:   Eric Roberts, Sidney Penny, Adam Horner, JD Banks, Katie Garfield and Jason Castro.

About the movie (from UP site):

In The Perfect Summer, fatherless teenager Jake (Adam Horner) was happy living in Chicago, until his mother (Sydney Penny) decided to uproot them to a small surfing town where her estranged father (Eric Roberts), Jake’s grandfather, lives. The transition isn’t easy for anyone and it seems everywhere he goes, Jake manages to make enemies, including the town bully, Tyler (JD Banks), who doesn’t like the new interloper or his interest in young surfing prodigy, Kayla (Katie Garfield). Stuck in the beach town with no friends and no knowledge of surfing, Jake has nowhere to turn until Cody (Jason Castro), the local surf shop owner, reveals that Jake’s grandfather is a surf legend. Tired of feeling like an outcast, Jake asks Lou to teach him about surfing. Jake learns to face his fears, push through inhibitions and realizes that winning the respect of his new peers – and Katie’s heart – might mean facing the biggest challenge of his life.

My Review:

I love a good summer movie.  Add a real message, and it gets even better.  There are several messages touched on through various characters in the film.  One of the most important is to keep trying and not quit.  Jake learns this as he battles learning to surf and learning to care about making a life in his new surroundings.  The story isn't all about Jake though.  We also get an opportunity to see a little bit of mom and grandpa's struggles as well.

Jake has moved with his mom from Chicago to Carolina Beach.  Now you might think that this would be a complete dream come true, but it is never really easy being the new kid.  Add the fact that you are leaving all you know and have suffered a pretty strong loss, baby steps are needed as well as lots of understanding.  Jake is not a surly teen, but he is definitely out of his element and not afraid to share that with his family.  Compounding the troubles of moving to a new town is the stereotypical bully who has set his jealous sites on Jake. 

Jake's mom is just trying to get back on her feet.  They are making a new start with her dad, but it is still all new.  She doesn't have a very strong relationship with her father.  Letting go just might be difficult.  Of course the task of just getting a job is at the forefront of her to-do list.

Grandpa has some time on his hand.  He uses that time to volunteer at his church and eventually to teach his grandson the finer points of surfing.

What I liked:  I liked the scenery.  I liked that everything wasn't perfect from the get go.  As a person who has done her own bit of moving, I appreciated the realness of the struggle, but also that things can be worked out with some effort.  I liked that Celebrate Recovery is also featured in the film.  I have friends who are part of Celebrate Recovery.  It is a wonderful ministry that truly helps people with all sorts of hurts, habits and hang ups. I enjoyed the music featured in the film as well with artists I enjoy like Jason Castro, Big Daddy Weave, and Dara Maclean.  

Favorite quote (from Jake's grandfather):  "The man you'll be tomorrow depends on the man you choose to be today." 

Rating:  I would give The Perfect Summer 5 out of 5 stars for a TV movie.  The casting was well done.  The story was told nicely.  There were definitely moments that I could really feel.  

Final note:  Currently I have only been able to watch The Perfect Summer on UPtv.  I do hope that at some point they will release it to video.  It is definitely one to watch. 

Side note:  I was thrilled to see Sydney Penny in a film again.  I remember when she was in "The Thorn Birds" when I was a kid and a Clint Eastwood movie called "Pale Rider" WAY back in the day.  She has always been a favorite of mine.

FREEBIE - Download Jason Castro's song "Good Love" which is featured in the movie by heading over to his website via this link.  No idea how long that will last so head on over.  

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