Sponsor

New Release Review - PING PONG SUMMER (VOD)

Nostalgic 1980s set comedy about a ping pong obsessed teen.


Review by Andy Comer (@thetalkingcan)

Directed by: Michael Tully

Starring: Marcello Conte, Judah Friedlander, Amy Sedaris, Judah Friedlander, Lea Thompson, Susan Sarandon


"The dialogue is atrociously '80s in the worst ways possible. Some lines are so ridiculous, I have to seriously wonder if the writers had ever even had a conversation with another human being before."




Ping Pong Summer is about a kid, Rad, who travels to the beach with his mom, Crandell, dad, Brenden, and sister, Michelle for the summer. Then, as predicted, he has the greatest summer of his life; he falls in love with a sugar addict, Stacy, meets his best friend, Teddy, and defeats the local bullies, Lyle and Dale, in an epic ping pong match to see who the best is. It’s a familiar feel good story that many of us can relate to because we have all felt bullied and we have all made great new friends with people at a time in our lives that we really needed it. It’s just a shame that one of the very few things that works for this one is the idea behind it. Sadly, its greatest failure is its execution.
That’s not to say this movie is a total colossal failure. For example the soundtrack is great. Utilizing its era of the 1980s to its advantage, the filmmakers exploit the decade’s vast music options. Then on the iffy side of the movie, it has half of an excellent cast. That sounds weird I know, but literally every adult in this is someone you have seen and liked in something else before.
It’s actually pretty crazy how many big names this thing has in it - Susan Sarandon, Lea Thompson, John Hannah - and while it is almost startling to see them show up on screen their first time, it really helps the movie, because some of these kid actors are pretty terrible at times. But to be honest, this may have something to do with the dialogue they are given. Seriously, the dialogue is atrociously '80s in the worst ways possible. Some lines are so ridiculous, I have to seriously wonder if the writers had ever even had a conversation with another human being before.
It is really frustrating to watch a movie that works so hard against itself because I usually really enjoy coming of age movies like this. Especially since it seems like this takes so much from two movies that I really enjoy a lot - Adventureland and The Way Way Back. This instead turned into an example of how throwing great actors and actresses at a familiar story arc doesn’t automatically make it a worthwhile experience. You need to get the best actors you can for every role instead of hiding behind familiar faces, and even with nostalgia playing a huge part in such stories, dialogue is, and will always be, important.
Ping Pong Summer is available to stream at wearecolony.com from November 6th.

Help support The Movie Waffler by sharing this post



discussion by