So, a few days ago I made a video called
“How to Make An A24 Movie?”
Some of you may have worked away from that,
thinking that I love every single A24 movie,
which isn’t true.
Coincidently, half way through editting that video,
I came across one A24 movie in particular
that I didn’t really enjoy.
And it’s called Hot Summer Nights.
Hot Summer Nights for those unaware
is a very generic coming-of-age story,
end of story. Just, just kidding.
It’s a movie about a very awkward teenager
played by America’s favorite sad boy Timothée Chalamet,
and how he starts selling drugs,
and starts falling for his business partner’s sister.
There’re a lot of movies to not like out there.
A lot of movies that I watched and I don’t really care for,
but I don’t really feel like I need to make a video about them
unless they are particularly bad.
And I didn’t really hate this one,
this was the thing wasn’t horrible, it’s no tag,
but something about it really frustrated me.
You see, we’re kind of living in a time
where 70s and 80s and 90s nostalgia is the new hot thing.
Yeah, shows like Strange Things,
and, End of The Fucking World,
and, and movies like It and Guardians of the Galaxy
that play on all of these styles and, and all the kids seem to really like them.
By using either the fashion, or the setting, or the soundtrack,
and make something that feels like we are in the 80s and people get really excited about it.
And this movie, it’s, it’s just sad,
it’s, it’s maybe the most nostalgia movie I can think of.
It also is Timothée Chalamet,
who as I mentioned before, is kind of hot stuff right now.
And also, kind of a pretty good actor,
so, you know, they got that going for him.
And then they have a stellar soundtrack, full of 70s hits
that’s just guaranteed to make a good percentage of viewers pretty invested in it.
But through all of this, through all of this stuff that it has going for it,
I ended being bored out of my mind while watching this.
So without any further ado, I’m gonna quickly gloss over why Hot Summer Nights doesn’t work.
Now this could just be a, a personal taste,
but the editing in this thing was a freaking disaster.
For one, it’s not very consistent.
In fact, it’s not consistent at all.
Off the bat, the film makes it’s editing out to be a pretty unique aspect of the film
with quick cuts and swipes and boom, boom, boom,
but then other moments it just feels very generic, and very slow.
It’s, it feels like a completely different film.
What this does is it creates a really unsteady and unpleasant viewing experience.
It doesn’t neatly guide the viewer through the story.
Now I’m not about to sit here and say that
all films should neatly hold the hand of the viewer
and guide them through the film.
I, I think that’s stupid.
A lot of films shouldn’t do that because
for the sake of the film that it might just be a better choice.
But when we’re talking a very generic, coming-of-age story,
you know, it should be pretty simple,
it shouldn’t be an unplesant experience through its editing.
Going back and forth between editing styles like this
does nothing but makes it seem like this film is desperately
trying to be quirky with quick cuts and weird transitions.
The fact that I had to look up the main character’s name before getting into the section is
这是个问题 相信我 相信我
is an issue in itself. Now trust me, trust me.
Before you freak out at me, this really isn’t anything against our beloved Timmy.
Ok, he did a actually pretty great job in this.
In fact, he was maybe one of my favorite aspects of the film.
I thought that he took a very generic character,
made him kind of, kind of cool to look at.
But as for the character, the writing for this, for this dude
is, is about is non-existent as it gets.
It feels like a walking piece of paper,
a piece of paper that has nothing on it.
This film focuses so much on having a fun story,
on having attractive actors, on having a likable romance
that it forgets about the personality.
It forgets that maybe this character should have a personality besides just
而不只是像“嘿 大伙看看我 我就是这么囧 哈哈哈……”
“Woo, guys, woo, look at me, I’m kind of awkward, ha ha…”
There is some pretty basic backstory glossed over a few times in this thing,
but, it’s never to a point where I feel like I should care.
When it comes to time when something bad happens
and the end of the scene is supposed to
make me want to watch the next scene,
I could not be more uninterested.
I owe this through the fact that there is a lack of establishing in this character,
without that we don’t really have a reason to care
about what’s going to happen next to this kid,
because who are we to know what this means to him,
but hey, despite all that, good job to me.
I just, I think you can do better.
Oh, oh my god, this movie could not be more generic.
It is a walking cliché.
Not only is it admitted in the movie,
it’s admitted in the first line of the trailer.
“Sending me away for a summer, what a cliché.”
The kiss with the fireworks, the awkward kids spiling the drink.
I mean, the list goes on.
I’ll admit there are some interesting choices here and there.
But for the most part, this thing is just cliché after cliché.
There are films out there that managed to get away with this,
Lady Bird being the first one that comes to mind.
But these films get away with it because they have an interesting directing style,
they have interesting characters, they have,
they have, just weird ways of doing it.
This one doesn’t, this one feels so uninteresting
because it likes any sort of personality which,
噢 正好牵扯到了我要说的下一点 也是最后一点
which, oh, leads me into my next and final point.
4. No Personality
我得说抱歉 伊利亚·拜纳姆 是这么叫对吧
I’m sorry. Elijah, uh, Bynum, I, I think that’s how I pronounce your name,
but this film is about his voiceless as it gets,
the saddest part is that it is begging,
it is, it is on its knees begging to have a unique style to be its own thing,
uh, but in the process, it becomes the most generic movie possible.
I think this issue is particularly important in this film,
because we’re talking about a coming-of-age story,
something that is very personal.
The viewer is supposed to connect to it
or see themselves in this character or this story,
and you get none of that.
This movie feels like someone got a blender,
and throw in a couple of strange things,
a tea spoon of artsy A24 cinematography,
a scoop of Edgar Wright editing,
a 70s soundtrack,
one Timmy, and every summer teen movie possible,
and mix it all up, and as a result,
you got a big pile of nothing.
A style so lost in its influence
that it feels as if nobody directed this thing at all.
Leaving the emotion and drive behind the character to be pretty much non-existent.
So yeah, as much as it seemed like I hated this thing,
like I said earlier, it’s not a total flop.
I enjoy Timothée’s performance, I like some of the cinematography,
and to be honest, a few scenes here and there kind of caught my eye.
I just think it’s interesting how something like this film,
something that feels though it was built to succeed and become a classic,
ended up being so bland and so forgettable.
So yeah, we could’ve had a summer classic on our hands,
something that we could remember forever,
if only this thing had better editing, a better character,
less clichés, more personality,
and um, what’s that, what’s that last thing?
Ke ke eh, ahem, oh that’s right, a little bit more
“机器人 宝贝 你懂的
“robots baby, you already know what it is,
winner of every single Academy Award,
and we’re beating this joke until it’s completely dead, baby,
you already know.”