The Kings of Summer (2013)

Yet another disaffected-teen indie but one loaded to the brim with energetic personality, comic timing, bizarre non sequiturs and raw script wit. Two high school buddies with generational problems – motherless Joe (Nick Robinson) has commanding widower Nick Offerman dishing him sarcastic shit every day, while Patrick (Gabriel Basso) endures hilariously overripe helicopter parents (Megan Mullally and Marc Evan Jackson) – discover a patch of forgotten woods, and decide, with a third kid, the cryptic weirdo Biaggio (Moises Arias), to run away, build a makeshift house in the secret glade, and “live off the land,” more or less forever. The dissection of The Outsiders mythology is deft, and there’s no denying the film’s blast of nonstop drollery (even a running gag about the largest Chinese takeout dumplings on Earth keeps paying off) or verdant hang-out aura.

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