The Last Summer, a teenage rom-com movie directed by William Bindley, is exactly what you would expect from the “teen” section of Netflix. The painfully average film about the quarrels of the love lives and social lives of a group of high school seniors in their last summer before college has its good moments and its worthless ones.
The flick divides itself among several different storylines. The main story focuses on the romance between Griffin (KJ Apa) and Phoebe (Maya Mitchell) as they fall in love, only to be torn apart by a scandalous affair between their parents. This storyline is cheesy but heartwarming. The characters feel real for the most part, their struggles make sense, and the story is sweet. However, the film is not satisfied with just this storyline. Instead of committing to building the characters of Griffin and Phoebe, the movie supplements its run time with many other half baked stories.
Another storyline follows Erin and Alec who break up in one of the first scenes of the movie. They do this as they won’t see each other in college but don’t they still have the rest of the summer together? Anyhow, Erin ends up really sad because Alec ditched her for a stereotypical stupid rich girl. Then Erin falls in love with a major league baseball player. This somehow justifies Alec ditching her. One of the major issues with this is that it has nothing to do with the main plotline. This makes this part of the movie feel rushed and the relationships are underdeveloped.
There were also a few storylines that had no relevance to any parts of the movie. Two kids who were interning at a brokerage went to a bar and because they were wearing suits, they were able to drink without getting carded. They then proceed to drink throughout the rest of the film. Erin’s friend Audrey also had a useless storyline because she never interacted with the other cast members except for a few seconds with Erin. Audrey’s plot is essentially her helping the girl she is babysitting figure out that she doesn’t want to be famous.
The Last Summer has times of quality, at least for a teenage rom-com movie, and the main storyline between Griffin and Phoebe is enjoyable and cheesy. The movie falls flat with its other storylines and they either have little to no relevance, or are just there to fill up screen time. The movie has some moments where it pulls the heartstrings but overall it is quite a mess, we give it a Brush and Palette 4/10.