It’s getting cold outside (for California)… And it’s almost technically winter everywhere… And all that complaining I did about summer being too hot and I’m so over it and I want to wear a sweater is long forgotten. All I want to do now is reminisce about last summer and plan for the next one!!
So when I came across Wicked Pictures’ Passions title, Summer Lovin’ (2012), I thought “Sweet!! Perfect… and convenient!!”
In spite of some strange syntax and punctuation, the synopsis sounded promising…
Those lazy sexy days of summer!
Young, beautiful Keiko (Asa Akira) grows restless in her small town existence, as she dreams of what’s beyond the town limits. Only when a summer breeze blows into town and with it, a chance encounter – does her dream appear to be a possibility. When drifter Jake (Bill Bailey) arrives in town, he and Keiko lock eyes: the attraction is undeniable. Will Keiko risk everything to take a chance on love with a stranger or will she do what her family expects and stay the course. Find out if this summer romance can withstand the heat.
…and the trailer looked intriguing. Here’s a link (every time I try to embed it, it bounces to Lisa Ann: Can’t Say No) – some kind of shadowy past and maybe a love triangle, all set to a decent song!!
But I gotta tell you: even though the filmmaking itself was just fine, Summer Lovin’ was one of the most ridiculous films I have ever seen. In my entire life. Ever.
First, the plot. Not only did it make little to no sense, it was woefully thin and poorly developed… yet somehow also awkwardly jammed with just about every kind of silly story line imaginable. To wit, here’s my own summary:
Summer Lovin’ is set in some small, nondescript but presumably midwestern town. (context clues suggest Anywhere, Kansas..? Or maybe One Stop, Missouri?) Naturally, some of the young folks are restless…
…including Keiko (Asa Akira). Keiko is a ball of young flirty energy; however, a somber cloud of un-fun looms overhead. She and her mother (Kelly Shibari) are in some sort of emotional and/or financial debt to her boyfriend/boyfriend’s family. In fact, their debt is such that Keiko must marry her guy. Her mom is pretty adamant about the whole thing.
Keiko has two friends: a lush-ous one played by Alektra Blue and a maid/pal played by Misty Stone. Like Keiko, Lush is restless (and dissatisfied with her straight-laced boyfriend). The Maid meanwhile is dealing with small town racism and her “not ready” older white dude lover.
(pictured: over it)
One summer day, Jake (Bill Bailey) blows into town, and Lush and The Maid immediately fall all over themselves and his “newness.” (meanwhile, I was doubling over myself upon hearing Jake’s absolutely ridiculous accent, which was complimented by the most inappropriate pair of jeans ever) But it’s Keiko Jake locks eyes with.
Then there’s this weird “summer flirt” sequence that involves lifting weights, a broken bicycle, and another wildly inappropriate costume choice – it’s clear that Keiko and Jake like each other.
After that, Jake is catching up with his old “college friend” who is also – of course – Keiko’s betrothed. He regales the dudes with this story about getting blown, banged, and then robbed by a Nicole Aniston drive by… somewhere in California or Arizona… he can’t remember. (how the hell he then got to Kansas or Missouri is beyond me)
Then there’s this summer picnic/pageant/dance. (Keiko – of course – is crowned queen) That looked fun… until Lush tries to get on Jake and ends up making a scene that makes him look bad. Our anti-hero is then driven from the picnic in disgrace.
Keiko – of course – runs after him and blah blah life’s rough and it’s hard to be so pretty (quote) and blah blah come over to the house and maybe they’ll run away together because – and this is now the next day – they really are in love. And it’s true love. Even Lush can see it.
It’s been 24 hours. Maybe.
After a dramatic proclamation (Jake’s) and tears (Keiko’s), the summer breeze blows out of town. It’s on its way to Oklahoma. And then, with literally no time lapse whatsoever, Keiko changes into an absolutely adorable dress, packs a roller bag, and goes after him (it… the breeze… Jake… you know what I mean!!). Her mom tries to stop her, but she fails.
And then Keiko, who is wearing the exact same dress like no time has passed, and her roller bag enter some sort of diner where Jake is sweeping… sweeping like he has a job and thus some time must have passed. They lock eyes. And then they have sex.
– fin –
Mercifully, thankfully fin.
Here’s the thing: Summer Lovin’ takes what could be a simple, albeit somewhat predictable, seasonal romance tale and rails it with poorly executed details, unnecessary additional plots, and nonsensical subsidiary story lines. It’s called too many ingredients. It’s called overkill. The result is a disaster of a film that effectively eradicates any of its good moments. And there actually were a couple of good moments.
– Kelly Shibari, who speaks Japanese in the film, is amazing. She adds depth and dimension to every project she touches.
– Subsidiary Storyline #15, the one about The Maid and the racial tensions, was an interesting touch that could’ve been a great cultural commentary and teaching moment. But, between the heavy handedness and the ludicrous surrounding details regarding going to Chicago etc, those elements were buried under a mountain of bullshit.
– The film looked great, the sets and shots were spectacular (the whole Alektra in an above-ground pool sequence was brilliant), and the music was really well-done.
– And the sex (five scenes) was fine, though a bit too porny for a romance title I think.
(pictured: this is a beautiful shot of Bill and Asa that totally does not happen in the film)
Ultimately, unless you have a thing for one of the performers, I’d say move on to fall. It’s time.
Summer Lovin’ (2012)
With performances by Asa Akira, Alektra Blue, Misty Stone, Nicole Aniston, Bill Bailey, Richie Calhoun, Ryan McLane, and Seth Gamble.
Uncredited, non-sex: Kelly Shibari and lots of picnic guest extras.
BTS: I watched this online (via WickedPictures.com), so I don’t knowwwwww… but knowing Wicked, I would expect the DVD version to have a couple bonus scenes, some BTS footage, and other standard “extras” (galleries, trailers, etc).
(pictured: Nicole Aniston… because why not?)
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