Sundance '14 Review - PING PONG SUMMER - '80s Set Coming of Age Comedy


I am a product of the 1980s. I grew up in that magical time of fun music, great movies, and terrible fashion. I loved my childhood, and my favorite parts were the cartoons, toys, and movies. Ping Pong Summer is a coming of age comedy that is set during this time of great memories. Michael Tully made Ping Pong Summer in the spirit of films from that era, like Rad, The Karate Kid, North Shore, and several others. 

The movie was made in the present day, but it instantly has that classic 1980s movie feel to it. That's one of the main reasons why I loved it so much. It's almost like I had seen the movie a long time ago and was revisiting it again after all these years. It just took me back to that time that I enjoyed so much.

Ping Pong Summer was intentionally made to feel like an old school '80s film. So it has the same style of acting, story, music, and dialogue that you would expect from a movie like that. It's incredibly adorable and fantastically cheesy in the best ways. I can see some people not getting the style and humor, but if you have experience with '80s films, and you're not a movie snob, then you'll get it. 

Tully wrote and directed the film, and he accomplished exactly what he set out to do, and in that respect it was a perfect movie. It's seriously the ultimate love letter to the 1980s, with its style, wit, and characters. 

Here's an official synopsis that gives you a rundown of the story:

The year is 1985. Rad Miracle is a shy, 13-year-old white kid obsessed with two things: Ping-Pong and hip-hop. During his family's annual summer vacation to Ocean City, Maryland, Rad makes a new best friend, experiences his first real crush, becomes the target of rich, racist local bullies, and finds an unexpected mentor in his outcast next-door neighbor. Ping Pong Summer is about that time in your life when you're treated like an alien by everyone around you, even though you know—deep down—you're as funky fresh as it gets.

For those of you who experienced the '80s, or enjoy the cheesy good films that came from that time, then this movie is for you. It brings back all those classic memories of simpler days that we haven't seen in a very long time. The movie brought out that kid in me, and I couldn't be happier with how it made me feel… pure happiness. 

This is one of my favorite films at Sundance, and I'm sure it will end up getting distribution, so you should eventually get to see it. The film might not get a wide theatrical release, but it's definitely going to get a limited release and VOD. When it does come out, I highly recommend that you watch it. This is one of those films that I know most of you will really enjoy!