The Kings of Summer (15) 94 mins ***
If David Gordon Green had made Son of Rambow, it might have looked something like this: a sunny and pretty funny coming-of-ager from Sundance-ratified debutant Jordan Vogt-Roberts. Three high-school boys elect to evade their overbearing families by constructing a new home in nearby woods, hoping the task will make men of them; instead, inevitably, they grow bumfluffed, painfully hungry, and terrified of the wildlife. Vogt-Roberts and writer Chris Galletta spread their sympathies wide, subverting the fratcom’s tendency to portray girls as snakes in the grass, while handing the parents – Parks & Recreation’s peerlessly brusque Nick Offerman in particular – many of the best moments. The director’s background in online shorts manifests itself in an occasional, montage-heavy scattiness, and the broadly conventional closing act can’t quite maintain the laugh rate, but there’s a lot of warm-hearted and commendably daft business along the way.
The Kings of Summer is in cinemas nationwide.