(director: Benjamin Kasulke; screenwriter: Joey Power; cinematographer: Darin Moran; editor: Brendan Walsh; music: Annie Hart; cast: Hannah Marks (April), Liana Liberato (Clara), Dylan Sprouse (Nick), Addison Riecke (Agnes), Jacob Batalon (Jacob), Jessica Hecht (Susan), Haley Ramm (Sally), Meagan Kimberly Smith (Molly); Runtime: 84; MPAA Rating: R; producers: Sam Slater/Jeremy Garelick/ Mickey Liddell /Will Phelps/ Glen Trotiner; Vertical Entertainment; 2018)
“Only somewhat yummy because its plot is so underwhelming.”
Reviewed by Dennis Schwartz
The feature film debut of former cinematographer Benjamin Kasulke. It’s a lite coming-of-age comedy. Kasulke partners with his Sundance Institute filmmaking lab actress colleague Hannah Marks for this high school relationship comedy that veers between being too sweet or too perky. The indie is satisfactorily written (snappy insult digs) by Joey Power and Hannah Marks, but is still only somewhat yummy because its plot is so underwhelming.
It’s the summer break for close friends April (Hannah Marks), Nick (Dylan Sprouse), and Ben (Luke Spencer Roberts) before the recent high school grads are off to college. The eventful summer has the abrupt split-up between April and Nick, after it appears they will be in the fall attending colleges far apart. Ben then introduces his childhood acquaintance Clara (Liana Liberato) to Nick, which upsets April. The friendship of the trio now becomes testy. But behind Nick’s back Clara becomes friends with April and this takes her out of her funk. The girls wisely make it a rule to never talk about Nick. Problems arise when there’s still a lingering love connection between April and Nick, and the new friendships are kept a secret. Ben is getting antsy and seems to want to tell all, since he’s harboring a guarded crush on April.
The film is set in Los Angeles and Venice Beach, and becomes mainly concerned with the girls bonding, the teens partying and hanging out together.
It’s a film for these social media times and for teens to reflect on how messy relationships can really be a bummer, as things revolve around the once close-knit friendship coming apart.
I can’t say the film did much for me as a senior citizen, but I bet it’s perceived much better by its teen target audience.
REVIEWED ON 3/24/2020 GRADE: B-