Review: Old-school ‘Staten Island Summer’ has the right mix of charm and raunch
“Staten Island Summer” is a refreshingly old school coming-of-age comedy with just enough raunchiness, stoner humor and otherwise dubious behavior to divert movie audiences weaned on violated pies and superbad high jinks.
This charming, good-natured, often quite funny ensemble piece, set in New York City’s underdog borough, benefits from its heavy “Saturday Night Live” influence: It was cleverly written by “SNL” scribe and the show’s “Weekend Update” co-anchor Colin Jost; buoyantly directed by Rhys Thomas, who has helmed many “SNL” episodes and TV specials; produced by “SNL” architect Lorne Michaels (with John Goldwyn); and features an array of “SNL” cast members, past and present.
Evoking such sun-and-fun flicks as “The Flamingo Kid,” “Caddyshack” and the more recent “Adventureland,” the movie revolves around good-guy lifeguard Danny Campbell (Graham Phillips), who wants to enjoy one last summer blast with goofy best pal Frankie (Zack Pearlman) and their co-workers (John DeLuca, Cecily Strong, Bobby Moynihan) at the local pool club. And if said fiesta nets Harvard-bound Danny some nookie with neighborhood hottie Krystal (Ashley Greene), his former baby-sitter and the daughter of a local mobster (Vincent Pastore), so much the better.
The film, receiving a nominal theatrical booking the week before its premiere on Netflix, is packed with a raft of amusing characters and situations that only occasionally wear out their welcome. Although less might have been more for Fred Armisen’s hornet-happy groundskeeper, Mike O’Brien’s Speedo-clad pool boss and Gina Gershon’s tipsy cougar, Jim Gaffigan and Kate Walsh as Danny’s needy parents, Katie and Kellie Cockrell as sexy Asian Jewish twins, Will Forte as a living cautionary tale and actor-rapper Method Man playing a formidable ice cream vendor are all fun.
“Staten Island Summer”
MPAA rating: R, for sexuality/nudity, crude humor and language throughout, drug content and partying — all involving teens.
Running time: 1 hour, 47 minutes.
Playing: Sundance Sunset Cinemas, West Hollywood. July 30 on Netflix.
FOR THE RECORD
July 24, 10:24 a.m.: An earlier version of this article stated that the film would be released on Netflix on July 31. It will be released July 30.
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