Summer Storm

"Weak"

Summer Storm Review


It's a wet hot German summer when a co-ed high-school rowing team hops on its bus and heads off a regional meet/campout in Summer Storm. Issues of burgeoning sexuality abound, and one boy's struggle with his nascent homosexuality comes to the fore, but this is no Brokeback Mountain. Try as it might, it has trouble getting past the after school special level.

The center of attention is Tobi (Robert Stadlober), a somewhat dorky but popular team captain who has a dangerously serious crush on his life-long buddy and teammate Achim (Kostja Ullmann). Backslapping best friends, the two are totally comfortable indulging in, um, onanism contests and playing a little slap and tickle in the locker room, but when Tobi plants an impulsive little kiss on Achim's cheek, the freaked-out Achim draws a firm line. After all, he has a girlfriend, and so does Tobi for that matter.

Once the kids make it to the rowing meet campsite, they're amazed to find that one of the competing teams is comprised completely of dewy young gay men who have traveled from Berlin (oh, that explains it). The Queerstrokes, as they're called, are a friendly lot, but they suffer a bit of low-grade homophobia at the hands of Tobi's less worldly teammates.

As Achim and his girlfriend keep sneaking off into the woods for grope sessions, Tobi burns with jealousy. When he finally has his own erotic encounter with one of the Queerstrokes, he's more, rather than less, confused, and as word spreads of his orientation, minor chaos ensues, and the coach worries that they may not win the trophy.

Director Marco Kreuzpaintner could have gone funnier, sexier, or darker, but he chose not to choose, and Summer Storm ends up with far too many mood swings. Tobi's on a tough journey, but it's hard to know how to feel about it when the drama is interrupted in one case with slapstick imported directly from There's Something About Mary.

Don't let the trailer mislead you. Summer Storm is not some sort of supersexy European art film. It's kids being kids, and you've outgrown summer camp.

Aka Sommersturm.

Row row row your German boat.



Facts and Figures

Run time: 98 mins

In Theaters: Thursday 2nd September 2004

Distributed by: Regent Releasing

Production compaines: Angelus Productions

Reviews

Contactmusic.com: 2 / 5

Rotten Tomatoes: 48%
Fresh: 15 Rotten: 16

IMDB: 7.5 / 10

Cast & Crew

Director: Marco Kreuzpaintner

Producer: Thomas Wöbke, Ulrike Putz,

Starring: as Olga, as Fedja Michailovitch Petroff, as Nadina Kalenin, Hugo Haas as Urbenin, Lori Lahner as Clara, as Kuzma, John Philliber as Polycarp, John Abbott as Lunin, Mary Servoss as Mrs. Kalenin, Andre Charlot as Anton Kalenin, as Count Alexander Volsky, Robert Greig as Gregory, Paul Hurst as Orloff, Charles Trowbridge as Doctor

Also starring:

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