Review: ‘Two Summers’

The boredom endured by a motherless latchkey kid onscreen is all too close to the audience's plight watching "Two Summers," an earnest but dull drama that stretches underdeveloped material across two plodding hours.

The boredom endured by a motherless latchkey kid onscreen is all too close to the audience’s plight watching “Two Summers,” an earnest but dull drama that stretches underdeveloped material across two plodding hours. Technically competent feature bow for writer-director Bruce Lapointe abandons the black humor of his prior shorts, but finds few other qualities to replace it; Canadian tube play aside, pic is doomed to be left home alone.

His mother having died in a crash, 8-year-old Lewis Poppy (Matthew Harbour) is abandoned for the summer by world-traveling architect dad (Chip Chuipka) and made to stay with a similarly widowed and job-preoccupied grandpa (Frank Fontaine). Latter owns a mannequin factory, and he’s made figures in the likenesses of both junior and senior deceased spouses — figures that fascinate Lewis. Three years later, protag is no better off, as dad expects him to perform all wifely housekeeping duties, while older brother Alex (Robert Crooks) is an angry bully. Kid finally lectures them all into appropriate states of shame, but pic’s on-the-nose psychologizing and general humorlessness neuter any emotional payoff.

Two Summers

Canada

Production

An Image Harvest Films production. Produced, directed, written by Bruce Lapointe.

Crew

Camera (color), Ali Reggab; editor, Sebastien Beauregard; music, Gustavo Cabili; production designer, Gerard Cleal. Reviewed at Montreal World Film Festival (Panorama Canada), Aug. 25, 2002. Running time: 118 MIN.

With

Matthew Harbour, Frank Fontaine, Chip Chuipka, Robert Crooks, Sheena Larkin, Susie Almgren, Sven Eriksson, Cory Hogan.
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