Summer ’03

In the summer of 2003, Jamie is 16, and her grandmother is dying. Don’t feel too bad about it, Grandma (June Squibb) is a bit of a bitch. On her deathbed, she confesses to Jamie that she had her secretly baptized as a child (Jamie’s mother is Jewish). She also imparts a very important last piece of advice: learn how to give a good blow job.

How surprised would you be to learn that Jamie learned a way to combine those two tidbits? More on that in a minute. First: Grandma had some bombs to drop for other family members as well, so everyone’s reeling. Big time. Total shit show. And yet Jamie’s evil-Jew mom is still in charge of planning the funeral. So much fun for her! First you live under your mother in law’s tyranny and disapproval for years, then she confirms her hatred for you and disrespect for your culture and religion…and then she dies and you get to clean up the mess. Families are the best. And sixteen year olds are so well-equipped to deal with the drama!

Yeah so anyway, Jamie (Joey King) decides to check out this whole being a secret half-Christian thing, and she goes to church where she actually ends up checking out the hot, young, priest-in training, Luke (Jack Kilmer). He’s about as many days away from being ordained and super duper officially off the market as Grandma is from being buried, and yet Jamie thinks it’s a good idea to use Grandma’s second piece of advice on him. And he’s so committed to God he goes along with it. Haha, “goes along with it” like he’s not a guy with a condom in his pocket like any other – eager to stick it in, not so eager to reciprocate. Romantic.

Writer-director Becca Gleason is offering up her story, alarmingly “based on true events.” Jamie is believably self-centered and short-sighted, but Becca should have the powers of hindsight, and in fact, 15 years worth of precious insight, so it’s a little disappointing that her main character still feels a little flimsy. Anger, grief, and a teenaged identity crisis. So it never quite jumps the tracks from your typical teenage film. It’s an odd enough story you might want to tune in anyway.

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