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Summer Storm (Unrated)

Release Date: March 24th, 2006 by Regent Releasing/Here! Films.
The Cast: Robert Stadlober, Kostia Ullmann, Alicia Bachleda-Curus, Tristano Casanova, Miriam Morgenstern, Marlon Kittel, Hanno Koffler.
Directed by Marco Kreuzpaintner.
In German with subtitles.

BASIC PREMISE: In a summer rowing camp, Tobi (Stadlober) secretly falls in love with his best friend Achim (Ullmann).

ENTERTAINMENT VALUE: Summer Storm has no surprises when it comes to its predictable and simple plot, but plenty of surprises when it comes to its beautiful script and talented young actors. Robert Stadlober is very likable and charming as Tobi. Other coming-out-of-the-closet films, such as In & Out , focus more on comedy in order to entertain. Summer Storm entertains by its realistic, complex characters without trying to be shocking or contrived. It’s somewhat funny when an opposing, all-gay team of rowers called “Queerstrokes” show up, but Tobi takes them more seriously than anyone else—in fact, he even becomes close with one of the rowers. Meanwhile, he still has a secret crush on his best friend Achim. To complicate matters, Tobi pretends to like Sandra (Morgenstern) while being pursued by her friend Anke (Bachleda-Curus). What could have easily been a chaotic and even a violent third act with the titular storm feels surprisingly true-to-life and subtle without any over-the-top, clichéd monologues. Moreover, director Marco Kreuzpaintner shows talent behind the camera as he films scenes in picturesque locations and with a steady pace. Along with co-writer Thomas Bahmann, he proves to be a screenwriter who cares a lot about character development and it certainly pays off here.

SPIRITUAL VALUE: It’s unhealthy to bottle-up your feelings inside for too long because, eventually, they must naturally come out into the open. They gradual way Tobi expresses his true emotions feels very heartbreaking and ultimately heartwarming.



IN A NUTSHELL: Well-acted and beautifully-directed! Surprisingly tender and moving!

RECOMMENDED WAY TO WATCH: Movie Theater (1st Run)

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