2007 SUNDANCE PREMIERE FEATURE! In his second directorial effort, “Summer Rain,” Antonio Banderas tries his darndest to prove himself a artist. He uses oddly framed shots that cut off half the actor’s face, over-exposes high-contrast stock shot and creates some tripped-out dream sequence for a character under surgery. He also includes plenty of sex. Unfortunately, his film is a shapeless and ultimately pointless coming-of-age story that lacks the key ingredient of its genre—a revelation.
“Summer Rain” centers around a group of Spanish young men who are just about ready to start their adult lives. So they go swimming, talk about life, have love affairs, suffer from kidney problems, dream of being poets and violently attack people at random. At the center of it all is Miguelito (Alberto Amarilla), who emerges from his kidney operation as a wannabe poet. As he watches his friends do stuff, he falls in love with Luli (María Ruiz), then grows jealous when a local playboy takes a liking to her. Meanwhile, the narrator (Fran Perea) delivers his own brand of poetry, banal and faux-profound.
Banderas, and cinematographer Xavi Giménez create some lush, alluring visuals that just cry out for the movie to be loved. But they squander them on a limp, increasingly tedious story whose climax makes you wonder why it existed at all.