It only gets more borderline cheesy but entertaining from there. Sure, there are bucketloads of cliches in this production, but they are deftly dropped in. Done so in an obviously calculated manner that nods to Gleason’s tact when it comes to reinventing a classic teen flick. A nostalgic, youthful breath of fresh air is exactly what this is, and Summer ‘03 doesn’t do that frustrating thing that so many movies do; which is trying to be something it’s not.
King’s expressive take on Jaime reads as if the role was created with her in mind. Her performance is further elevated by her chemistry with the cast around her. Jaime’s force-of-nature mom Shira is played spectacularly by the ultra-talented Andrea Savage (you may know her from I’m Sorry and Step Brothers), while Paul Scheer smoothly tackles Ned, her dad, and June Squibb makes a grand appearance as the grandmother who stirs s**t up.
It’s not often to come across this conclusion in a film critique, but Summer ‘03 has one of those cast’s that warrants almost everyone to be singled out for a standing ovation. Among these high-brow performances are Luke Kilmer’s brooding, playboy take on priest-in-training Luke, Stephen Ruffin as Jaime’s genuine love interest March, and Logan Medina’s precious embodiment of Dylan, a beloved member of the extended family.
“…only gets more borderline cheesy but entertaining from there.”
Talent is not just limited to the actors, either. Gleason’s script is taken from ideation to full-fledged movie in a way that suggests nothing we see on-screen is an accident. Best of all, she frames it all so stunningly. Shots melt together like the mouthwatering ice cream sundaes of summertime.