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By Brad Wilke | March 24, 2009

“Boys of Summerville” is another entry in the tried and true genre of “big city boy returns to podunk hometown and realizes what is really (no, really) important to him.”

And unfortunately, it makes “Garden State” look like a bona fide masterpiece.

First of all, it would help if the main character, Peter Davis (Casey Payne), wasn’t such a douche. After 30 minutes, I found myself wondering why I should continue watching this douche reconnect with the other douches he used to be friends with.

But I digress…

So basically, you have this guy, Peter, returning to his hometown to close out his father’s estate. His father was a somewhat famous softball(!) player and, of course, Peter has some daddy issues to work through. Poor Peter. Except, as I mentioned before, Peter’s a giant douche, so it’s hard to feel any sympathy for him on his “journey of discovery.”

This movie does its best to create a low-budget version of what it thinks is a comedy. Only thing is, not much of it is funny. People say things that are supposed to be funny, and do things that are supposed to be funny, but the tone is so leaden and the acting so stilted that none of it comes off as actually funny. Unless it was supposed to be a drama, in which case we’ve got an entirely different set of problems on our hands.

I understand what goes into making a film, and I seriously hope that the people at Lycan Entertainment focus more on developing strong, believable characters for their next outing than on giving one-dimensional types shopworn dilemmas and stock dialogue and calling it a movie. (Exhibit A: Peter and Sam’s scene in the unpainted room.)

In its favor, I will say that the cinematography and production values are top-notch. No sound problems or murky shots, which were traditionally the bane of independent productions. Now that low-budget filmmakers don’t have to worry about the technical side as much, you’d think they’d start paying more attention to the things that really matter.

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  1. Steve Johnson says:

    Just watched this film on Netflix. I remembered reading your review a long time ago and was prepared to not like the title character. My friends and I all were ready for him to be a douche and… well… you were right…. douche. However, I think you do the film a disservice to say that none of the other scenes are funny. The Rocky character was GREAT. His storyline was funny, too. Some of the other characters – not so much. But Rocky was a big part of the film and that makes a big part of the film good in my book.

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