DVD Review: The Perfect Summer

Uplifting Summer Family Film

Pefect Summer CoverThe Perfect Summer
Directed by Gary Wheeler

On Sale Now at Christian Retail
General Market Release: August 5, 2014
Format: DVD, 85 minutes
Starring: Eric Roberts, Sydney Penny, Louis Mandylor, Adam Horner, and Katie Garfield with Jason Castro

Cast of The Perfect Summer

Learning To Stand


 Film Links:

UP TV Film Website (with A LOT of video content!)


About the Movie

When 17-year-old Jake and his mom move to live with his grandfather in a quiet coastal town, Jake is certain it’s going to be the worst summer of his life. He can’t even find decent wi-fi! But when he catches the eye of a beautiful surfer girl, Jake begins to think there’s more to life than the internet. Now, with the help of his grandfather, Jake will go from surfing the net to surfing the waves.

My Review

Summertime and beach movies go together like peanut butter and jelly, right? But beach/surfer movies can be a dime a dozen. Fortunately, The Perfect Summer is more than just another typical summer beach flick. The film explores loss, regret, family relational difficulties, and the necessity of digging deep to discover the courage and strength to overcome. It teaches that a life lived in fear is no life at all.

With a small cast, it’s important that all the actors capture their characters and give engaging, convincing performances. From top to bottom, this cast gets it done. Eric Roberts (brother to Julia and father to Emma) commands the screen as Lou, Jake’s grandfather. It’s easy to imagine how just a short time living with Lou could draw Jake out of his isolation. Of course, meeting a pretty girl doesn’t hurt, either. It turns out Kayla (Katie Garfield) is fighting her own personal battles, and the two teenagers bond while sharing their brokenness. Adam Horner’s portrayal of Jake is strong. I especially liked his use of body language to show a shy, awkward teen. As Jake gains confidence, we can really see and feel the difference. The storyline with Jake’s mother and her new employer (Sydney Penny and Louis Mandylor) is enjoyable. Sydney Penny, who reminded me of Tia Carrere, is especially likable and Mandylor has an easy charm. Even Christian Music artist and American Idol alum Jason Castro breezily pulls off his small part as Cody, the friendly surf shop owner.

The movie talks at length about not giving up when life gets hard. The family has their past, and Lou has regrets but welcomes the chance to start afresh. His mentoring of Jake is full of love and wisdom, with healthy doses of humor and humility. When we learn about Lou’s past and his personal mistakes, it’s not hard to understand why it’s so important to him to help Jake navigate his own rough waters. 

(I’ve got to say this, too: I loved that this wasn’t one of those movies where a neophyte finds he’s a quick study and natural talent, so he just *poof* becomes the best.)

— Dawn Teresa


4 Hearts - CD - DVD

4 of 5 Hearts. Uplifting Summer Family Film.

Without getting preachy, UP TV original film The Perfect Summer, a heartwarming tale about a young man’s journey through loss, inspires viewers, reminding us that we have the courage to overcome if we’ll just keep trying.

*Disclosure of Material Connection: I received the above DVD for free from Edify Media in the hope that I would mention it on my blog. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

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5 thoughts on “DVD Review: The Perfect Summer

  1. sophiebowns July 5, 2014 at 2:07 PM Reply

    I’m surprised that I haven’t heard of any of the actors!
    It looks like a cute film. 🙂


  2. Judy Yaron PhD July 5, 2014 at 2:35 PM Reply

    Lucky you! Whether as a hobby or work how delightful to watch movies and then review them. The movie is perfect for summer with some popcorn and lemonade! Thank you, Dawn for sharing! HUGS ❤


    • Dawn Teresa July 6, 2014 at 9:49 PM Reply

      It’s definitely a hobby, and yes, it is a lot of fun. Only thing more fun is reading books!


  3. Margit Awsum Crane July 5, 2014 at 3:22 PM Reply

    You’re telling me that Eric Roberts played a grandfather? What is the world coming to?? 🙂 Can’t wait to read more reviews!


    • Dawn Teresa July 6, 2014 at 9:49 PM Reply

      Believe it or not, I had never seen any of Eric Roberts’ work before! Any recommendations, Margit?


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