Summerland (2020)

A trio of friends head out to a music fest in the desert after graduation, carrying much more than just luggage with them in the RV.

Written by Chris Ball, Dylan Griffiths, Kurtis David Harder, and Noah Kentis and directed by Lankyboy (the duo composed of Kurtis David Harder and Noah Kentis), Summerland is a film all about looking for love in the wrong way and finding your way in the wrong place. The creators and cast made this as a film between friends and it may show a little here and there, but overall the quality of the film itself is good, it’s the story that doesn’t fully connect. From the catfish as one lead to how someone who hides important things from their love as the other lead, it is a bit difficult t connect with the characters are they are not exactly bad people, but they both display a lot of bad judgment and a high tolerance for their shenanigans or bullshit is needed here. Unfortunately, neither of them nor their Instagram model counterpart hit right for this viewer.

The acting for these characters is decent, it’s not particularly appealing, but that is how these three people are written, so it could be said that the acting is good in terms of giving the viewer what was on the script pages. However, there should have been a way to either write them or play them a bit more likable to make the film’s runtime feel shorter or to make the viewer able to connect with them. The cast here is all decent without much in terms of great or awful, so it comes off a bit even throughout which in this case is just not enough to get the film to stick.

The music and look of the film also make it feel like it’s very much aimed at a style of crowd or a generation that may not connect with everyone. That being said, the music is pretty good to really good depending on the track and it’s a fun addition to the film.

Summerland feels like an Instagram post made from Coachella for friends of the filmmaker and those involved. It’s story that feels familiar and is dressed in a look that just blends in with quite a few other films released recently. Does it look and sound good? Yeah.

Does that make it memorable? No.