Monday, July 27, 2015

Staten Island Summer

Produced by Lorne Michaels, written by Saturday Night Live head writer Colin Jost, and featuring SNL stars new and old (among them Cecily Strong, Fred Armisen, Bobby Moynihan, and Will Forte), this subtlety-free mash-up of American Graffiti, American Pie, and pretty much every other American celebration of—and farewell to—adolescence puts a whole new spin on the phrase "summer camp." Introduced as a collection of stereotypes, the characters never develop enough to become relatable, and the humor is pretty much all on the level of an ice sculpture of a woman on her back with her legs spread, or a crooked cop who brays about the contraband he's peddling in a voice so loud it hurts.

If you don't find that kind of thing funny, you'll soon tire of the company of Danny (Graham Phillips), the cute, sensitive boy who's savoring his last summer as a lifeguard at a Staten Island pool before heading off to Harvard, and his fellow lifeguards: Frank (Zack Pearlman), Danny's best friend and, not to put too fine a point on it, a raging asshole; Mary Ellen (Strong), a good-sport tomboy; Anthony (John DeLuca, resembling a young Tom Cruise), a ripped, dim-bulb Italian American; and Skootch (Bobby Moynihan), a portly stoner. They're all living for the unofficial end-of-season pool party, the predictable climax the film dutifully builds up to.

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