Reviewed by Adam Donato
Summer is the time for fun and love, but June in particular is important for pride. What a perfect time for Summer of 85 to be released. Directed by François Ozon, this film is about two young men who become infatuated with one another until their love runs dangerously hot. The film stars young guns Félix Lefebvre, Benjamin Voisin, and Philippine Velge.
Obviously, comparing it to Call Me By Your Name is unfair. That’s an Oscar-winning movie and even though it’s a similar type of romance that takes place in the summer of a beautiful European country, this should be judged on its own. Certainly can recommend it to those who are a fan of Call Me By Your Name. Summer of 85 is an enjoyable movie. Obviously it’s beautiful thanks to the setting. A lot of the music is fits and adds to the vibe.
The performances are the highlight of the movie. Lefebvre and Voisin have a lot of chemistry and own all of their scenes. Their romance is easily sold and a delight to watch. The worst thing you could say about it is that it wasn’t given enough time. At just about ninety minutes, their romance feels rushed. That did help with expressing the nature of their relationship. Being that it was a young summer fling, it would be underdeveloped and rushed. That being said, the third act comes seemingly out of nowhere and takes the viewer out of the experience.
This leads to the larger point in that it is a very typical movie. The plot is very run-of-the-mill. That is until the third act where things become more unique. Getting to the conclusion is rushed, but once they get there, they wrap things up quite nicely. Starting the movie at the end is also problematic. This makes the plot behind the romance feel contrived and unnecessary. It’s one of those things where all of the problems could be solved very easily, but the main character is being weird. Obviously the circumstances allow for a lack of strategic actions, but as a viewer, it is extremely frustrating. Also, it does take place back in 1985, so times were different, but still.
Overall, Summer of 85 is an enjoyable watch. The movie leans into the season and provides for solid vibes. The romance is cute despite their adolescence providing much poor decision-making. It will be interesting to continue to see Ozon’s other projects as there is clear talent here. Check it out by the end of the month and especially before the end of the summer. Double feature it with In The Heights for some summer fun.
Summer of 85 hits theaters on June 18.