Ray's Review: Hot Summer Nights

Hot Summer Nights

Rating: B

Rising star Timothee Chalamet heads up the new film from writer/director Elijah Bynum about a boy coming of age during the summer he spends in Cape Cod in the new film Hot Summer Nights. This fast-paced drama shows just how quickly someone's life can spiral out of control and take them on paths they definitely did not expect. The trailer for this film really sets a badass tone for the movie, but does it live up to the hype? Let's break it down.

For starters, this film moves really fast. The story flies by you about as fast as Daniel (Chalamet) can drive his sports car. Clocking in at an hour and forty-seven minutes, this film could give you whiplash.  However, for me personally, the pacing of the story just helps the viewer relate to the chaos that surrounds this story because it goes from zero to 60 real quick. The film claims to be based on a true story, but in reality that isn't quite the case. The director pulls from his own life experiences growing up and seeing his friends fall into selling drugs and heavy partying, but the actual film we get to experience is basically a work of fiction. It is fun to watch though.

We follow Daniel who is struggling with the death of his father and is acting out when his mother decides to send him to live with his Aunt for the summer. Figuring a change of scenery may do him some good he finds himself alone and desperate for any connection in his new surroundings. Life working out as it does he winds up befriending the town drug dealer, Hunter (played by Alex Roe), and catching the eye of the most sought-after girl in Cape Cod McKayla (Maika Monroe) who also happens to be Hunter's estranged sister. Hoping to up his status he begins to help Hunter expand and grow his weed operation until the two of them are basically swimming in cash and are hungry for more. As the money grows so does the level of danger the two find themselves in and as Daniel's secret relationship with McKayla starts to grow, so does the number of risks he is willing to take and of course after a while life has a way of catching up with you. 

The movie moves fast and keeps you into it as long as you remember we are just watching a simple story about a young man coming of age and making all the wrong choices for his life. I thought this was a fun movie and it felt refreshing to see the talent take these roles and run with them. The movie has been making the rounds in the film festival circuit since 2017 and is just now coming to digital devices for you to check out in your own home. We scored this one with a B because despite what some of the critics say, we really kinda liked it. Chalamet is fantastic, not that anyone is surprised, and I actually preferred seeing Alex Roe in this role that I did in the film Forever My Girl. He just fit the part of small-town badass so well. Maika Monroe does a solid job of keeping all the out of towners and townies drooling over her every move. The film just has a vibe about it we really enjoyed and would watch again and because of that, I say you need to make up your own mind about this one and forget what the critics say and take a chance on Hot Summer Nights. 

Hot Summer Nights is now available on digital and streaming services.

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