Way back in March 2017, we saw Elijah Bynum’s Hot Summer Nights at SXSW (right before Free Fire, of all things) and, even though our thoughts were mixed about it then, we still wanted it to hit theaters.
How often do you have a drug-running teen drama set in 1991 and on Cape Cod hit the multiplex? Not often, we think. Anyways, what we didn’t expect was Timothée Chalamet’s ascendance to true honest-to-Christ stardom (though we probably should have, given how our favorite film of 2017, Call Me By Your Name, was received at Sundance that year), and, as you can tell in our review, we actually did bet on the wrong horse: His co-star Alex Roe, who gives a solid performance. Now, A24 has snatched up the film for release — perhaps motivated a bit by his turn in Lady Bird — and you’ll be able to check it out for yourself in a matter of months.
We will gladly say that there is an all-timer William Fichtner sequence in this film (essentially his Gary Oldman-in-True Romance turn), which you can see a glimpse of in the trailer, and that Tom Jane also gets a role well worth the paycheck. But we’re wondering if we undervalued Chalamet’s work in this film, especially given the chemistry that he has with his co-stars, especially Maika Monroe (talk about a convergence of Indie Superstars here); he’s certainly earned our deeper consideration. We’re definitely interested in seeing it again, and if you’re local to Boston, you have a chance to see it at IFFBoston on April 29, where it’ll screen at the Somerville Theatre.
For everybody else, Hot Summer Nights will come first to DIRECTV subscribers on June 28, before A24 releases it to theaters and other VOD platforms on July 27, perfect for some late summer viewing.