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Review: 'Summertime' So Very L.A.

by Roger Walker-Dack
EDGE Media Network Contributor
Friday Jul 9, 2021
'Summertime'  (Source:Good Deed Entertainment)

Carlos Lopez Estrada's "Summertime" gets away with a lot. A lot. It is an intertwined series of poems and characters that alliterate, rhyme, and expound their way through the LA summer heat.

The satire is deft, but the homage is sincere as each seeming stereotype is elevated by the heroism of verse. There are very few movies that could successfully deliver the rhyme "I was walking down Santa Monica / Without my harmonica / The only thing I had to say / Is that I love all the people in LA." But this one does. 

We start with the angsty skater chick rolling down the sidewalk strumming her guitar and bowling over her fellow pedestrians. Then it's off to meet the social media queen who Yelps every restaurant whether he has eaten the food or not, and proves that opinions are like a$$holes: Everyone has one, but they should be shared with care. Next is the underdog rap duo who are hustling their way up, but still love their moms.

Then there is the late night burger flipper who flips out, the angry woman seeking closure on the door of the man who scorned her, and the couple's counselor who has written a book called "How to Rap Battle Your Demons." Throw in a hipster in hot pants discussing Marxist dialectic in the music of Britney Spears, and you end up with a burrito that would be hard to swallow if it didn't have the perfect mix of meat and heat. 

"Summertime" is expansive, inclusive, and defiant. It radiates the magic of youth, the desire for affirmation, and the release of self-expression. 90 minutes of free verse sounds like a challenge, but in the deft hands of these poets it creates the momentum of drama and the reward of humor. And it is so very, very LA.

"Summertime" opens in theaters July 9

Roger Walker-Dack, a passionate cinephile, is a freelance writer, critic and broadcaster and the author/editor of three blogs. He divides his time between Miami Beach and Provincetown.

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