Film Review: Summerland

If you ask me, and no one has, one of the worst side-effects of our new technological age are dating sites and apps. Nothing sucks the life out of finding your soulmate more than reading through a list of uninspiring copied and pasted favourite books and films or swiping left on a number of staged filter-heavy photos from 5 years ago. The truth is you just don’t know who is on the other end of a phone or laptop. This is the case in Lankyboy’s film debut, Summerland.

Bray (Chris Ball) has finally met the perfect man. One who really understands him and who he connects with on an almost spiritual level. The problem is that he’s never met Shawn (Dylan Playfair) and he’s still a virgin. Not to mention the fact that this dream guy thinks he’s Stacey (Maddie Phillips), the girlfriend of his English housemate, Oliver’s (Rory J. Saper). Bray decides there’s no time like the present and the trio set-off on a road trip to Summerland, where he plans to reveal himself.

Whilst it’s not the most polished or assured piece of filmmaking you’ll see this year, there’s a certain spirit and charm to Summerland which makes it an entertaining watch. The story itself is hardly compelling, but it’s the characters who provide the humour and drama. The denouement feels like a bit of an anti-climax, but it’s all about the journey. Not just for Bray but for Oliver and Stacey as well. Summerland is an offbeat coming-of-age story for the digital age.

Summerland is available on VOD from 14 September.

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