‘Summering’ Trailer: James Ponsoldt Returns With A Summer Coming-Of-Age Film For Young Women

“Coming-of-age” is a term used to describe a broad swath of films of many different genres. But in the most traditional sense, the evolution of a child into a mature human being is the most popular form of story out there, and that will probably always be true because we all love remembering our childhoods. It’s also not the kind of story one might expect from The Spectacular Now and The End of the Tour director, James Ponsoldt. But he jumps into it fully with his latest, Summering, which premiered at Sundance earlier this year.

Directed by and co-written by Ponsoldt alongside novelist Benjamin Percy, Summering follows four girls as they embark on a mysterious adventure in the final days of summer before the start of middle school.

The film is led by relative newcomers Lia Barnett, Madalen Mills, Eden Grace Redfield, and Sanai Victoria. They’re joined by more experienced actors Megan Mullally, Lake Bell, Ashley Madekwe, and comedian Sarah Cooper in her first major acting role, a real get for Ponsoldt.

In my review, I noted the influences of other nostalgic coming-of-age films such as Now and Then and Stand By Me, and how it was great that Ponsoldt strived to tell such a story for young women because they are few and far between. But overall I was not impressed with the film, its lack of substance or the performances other than by the adult case. The conversation often felt unnatural, perhaps because the emergence of these young girls into womanhood was written by two men.

Summering opens in theaters on August 12th. You can check out my interview with Ponsoldt here, as well. Despite my misgivings about the film, Ponsoldt is one of my favorite filmmakers and we had a great conversation.