Life is wonderful on Long Island. Ed Burns’ “Summer Days, Summer Nights” opens with a lively seamless montage that introduces all of the characters, with the camera roving around the modest dwellings, following a girl as she rides her bike down the street, waving to neighbors, and each person heading out to greet the day.
It is the summer of 1982. JJ is a recent high school graduate who is working at a swanky beach Club for his father when he falls hard for Debbie. As he heals from a recent breakup, JJ tries to divert himself from work. But as time passes, he reluctantly begins to form a new relationship with Debbie. Edward Burns, the film’s writer/director, plays the father in the film.
Terry, JJ’s budding musician cousin, is spending the summer with JJ’s family, where he works for a single mom Claudia who manages a small marina. Claudia is JJ’s next-door neighbor. Claudia’s teenage daughter Winky is upset since her rich boyfriend dumped her, and she sulks as she cleans the marina’s boats. Terry is encouraged by Claudia to befriend Winky.
Meanwhile, Frankie reconnects with a long-lost sweetheart along the boardwalk. Frankie is desperately trying to win back his high school sweetheart, Suzy who returned back to town for the summer. However, as the weather cools down, so do their relationships, forcing the young men to face that summer is coming to an end. This nostalgic coming-of-age movie evokes balmy nights and young love with its nostalgic vibe.
Should You Stream It Or Skip It?
The movie is a romantic dramedy that is purely an ensemble. It is a reminiscent, free-spirited, summer fling type of film. There is no one lead. Each character was dealing with their own personal conflict while juggling new or previous romantic connections, leaving little room for character growth.
If I had to pick a favorite, I think I liked watching JJ and Debbie’s relationship develop the best because of their drastically different personalities. Debbie is confident, brave, and unyielding. But JJ is the polar opposite, and despite the fact that the film has an ensemble cast, I believed JJ’s character was the most powerful and conspicuous. So, if you prefer a more free-spirited, summer fling type of person, you will undoubtedly enjoy this film.
But this film could have done better if there were fewer characters that could have been more deeply explored and given more time to devote to their storylines.
Where to Watch it Online?
You can watch it on Vudu, Amazon Prime Video, or Apple Tv.
Pico Alexander as JJ Flynn, JJ’s father is the movie’s director/writer, Edward Burns. Debbie is played by Lindsey Morgan, Amadeus Serafini as Terry. Susan Misner as Claudia, Rita Volk as Winky, and Anthony Ramos as Frankie.