There’s something rather reassuringly nostalgic and heart-warming about your first love., especially a holiday romance. If you’re of my generation, then the British seaside was the most likely location for any innocent childhood tryst. Mine was in Bognor Regis. There’s a moment growing up when girls and boys stop being yucky and smelly and become the seed of a yet to be developed idea. My Extraordinary Summer with Tess, the new film from Steven Wouterlood, captures that moment.
Sam (Sonny Coops Van Utteren) is enduring a summer holiday with his family on a Dutch island. His brother (Julian Ras) has a broken leg, his mother (Suzan Boogaerdt) is suffering from migraines and his dad (Tjebbo Gerritsma) is constantly try to instigate family fun. Sam, who has a morbid streak, embarks on ‘aloneness training’ to prepare himself for his family’s eventual demise. Things all change when he crosses paths with Tess (Josephine Arendsen), who is a force to be reckoned with.
My Extraordinary Summer with Tess is a wonderful family film which has its heart in the right place. Both young stars are great, but it’s Josephine Arendsen who steals the show. She’s electric. Like a Duracell Bunny on overdrive. Whilst the story itself isn’t overly complex it’s one which is easily relatable. My Extraordinary Summer with Tess will put a smile on your face and is liable to bring a tear to your eye.
My Extraordinary Summer with Tess screened at London Film Festival.