Tropic Cinema Reminds Us About Coming of Age
Reviewed by Shirrel Rhoades
Summer generates two kinds of movies -- big blockbuster and small coming-of-age films. The Tropic Cinema seems to have cornered the market on the latter.
New to the Tropic screens is “The Kings of Summer,” a charming little coming-of-age story about three boys who build a tree house in order to run away from home. Nick Robinson, Gabriel Basso, and Moisés Arias star as the rebellious trio. Their bid for freedom comes with a message, that old saw about no matter of where you go, there you are. Still true. And told here with humor and a dash of magic. Miami Herald describes it as “a warm and affectionate comedy about that last great summer when you're 13 or 14 and you don't realize just how much your life is about to change and things will never be the same.” ViewLondon sees it as “a hugely enjoyable, acutely observed and frequently hilarious coming-of-age drama…” And Sly Fox calls it “a bona fide sleeper not to be missed.”
Another wonderful coming-of-age film is “The Way, Way Back,” the poignant tale of a kid (Liam James) stuck for the summer at the Massachusetts shore with his mom (Toni Collette) and her jerk boyfriend (Steve Carell). Luckily, he meets Owen (Sam Rockwell), the cool guy who manages the local Water Wizz water park. Fresno Bee says, “You would have to go way, way back to find a film as touching, funny and smart as this one.” And Cinemalogue.com calls it “... a tender and charming account of an angst-ridden teenage loner who finds inspiration in the most unlikely places during an otherwise disastrous vacation.”
“Stories We Tell” is not so much a coming-of-age film as it is a documentary about coming to terms with your family history. Sarah Polley went in search of a family secret. Why did she not resemble her siblings?Did her actress mother have an affair? Was her dad not her biological parent? Arizona Republic says, “What a great movie!” The New Republic describes it as “not just very moving; it is an exploration of truth and fiction that will stay with you long after repeated viewings.” And the Birmingham Mail concludes: “… complete with a twist straight from a soap opera.
“The Heat” offers am alternative to all that growing-up stuff, a silly comedy about a strict FBI agent (Sandra Bullock) and a loose-as-a-goose street cop (Melissa McCarthy). An odd couple buddy movie. UTV advises, “Prepare for some hilarious laugh enforcement.” And daily Telegraph calls it “a good cop/bad cop action comedy with the funniest two-women-above-the-title pairing in memory.”
So take a trip way, way back to when you were a king of summer with the stories we lived…