In The Summers – Movie Review and Summary

“In The Summers” is an almost bittersweet look at the relationship between a father and his daughters, as you question if his imperfections may sour their relationship to the point of abandonment.


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Adult Eva (Sasha Calle) and Adult Violeta (Lio Mehiel) waiting for their plane to arrive

Plot Summary

“In The Summers” focuses on Vicente, Violeta, and Eva as Violeta and Eva visit their father, Vicente, during the summer. The film is broken into multiple parts, representing the kids at different life stages, and Vicente, too, in some ways, until they become adults, and we see the effects of his decisions on their relationship.

Content Information

  • Dialog: Discriminatory Language, Cursing
  • Violence: Nothing Notable
  • Sexual Content: Sexual Situations (Implied)
  • Miscellaneous: Depiction of Corpses (Dead Animal), Drinking, Drug Use (Marijuana), Vomiting, Smoking

Things To Note

For this, we’re assuming Violeta is just queer and not trans when referring to them with feminine pronouns, mainly since it isn’t noted that Violeta identifies as anything but queer.

General Information

Director(s)

Alessandra Lacorazza Samudio

Screenplay By

Alessandra Lacorazza Samudio

Based On Work By

N/A

Date Released

January 26, 2024

How To Watch

Film Festival – Sundance

Genre(s)

DramaYoung AdultYouthLGBT+

Film Length

1 Hour 38 Minutes

Content Rating

Not Rated

Noted Characters and Cast

Vicente

René Pérez Joglar

Adult Violeta

Lio Mehiel

Adult Eva

Sasha Calle

Carmen

Emma Ramos

Teen Violeta

Kimaya Thais Limon

Teen Eva

Allison Salinas

Kid Violeta

Dreya Renae Castillo

Kid Eva

Luciana Quinonez

Character Descriptions

Please Note: This character guide is not an exhaustive list of every cast member, and character descriptions may contain what can be considered spoilers.

Vicente (René Pérez Joglar)

By inheriting his mother’s house, Vicente isn’t doing badly for himself. However, it becomes clear that, while his housing situation is stable, other aspects of his life, relationships especially, aren’t.

Violeta (Lio Mehiel, Kimaya Thais Limon, Dreya Renae Castillo)

Undeniably, her father’s favorite, Violeta, was always a bit of a tomboy and mirrored her father’s intellect, but it was also how easy she took to him showing her things that made them bond so well.

  • Lio Mehiel is also known for their role in “Mutt.”

Eva (Sasha Calle, Allison Salinas, Luciana Quinonez)

Eva, the middle child of Vicente’s, is an artist, who has partly lived in her sister’s shadow for most of her life, and that is even with her making an effort to appease and impress her dad.

Carmen (Emma Ramos)

Carmen is Vicente’s childhood best friend, who owns a bar he frequents until his drinking problem gets to the point he begins to get offensive.

Review


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Notable Performances or Moments

When Presence Can Feel Like Forgiveness

Kid Violeta (Dreya Renae Castillo), Kid Eva (Luciana Quinonez) and Vicente (Rene Perez Joglar) at an amusement park
A still from In The Summers by Alessandra Lacorazza, an official selection of the U.S. Dramatic Competition at the 2024 Sundance Film Festival. Courtesy of Sundance Institute.

At the end of the movie, we see the effects of Vicente’s treatment of his kids. Did Vicente teach Violeta to make eggs, tell Eva she is beautiful, and craft other good moments with his kids? Yes. However, he also made Eva feel less than compared to her sister, stupid even, and with Violeta? He scared her, put her in danger, and through how he talked about his childhood friend Carmen, showed that she couldn’t be completely honest with him about who she is.

Yet, one thing we’re reminded is that, for many parents, yes, they know they didn’t make the best decisions, but your kids showing up can feel like forgiveness. It can push the idea that, maybe you did something wrong, but you were forgiven, and how much time they spend around you dictates how far the forgiveness goes.

A prime example is Eva. Even when Violeta decides to take a break from Vicente, Eva shows up, tries to show similar interest to her dad by displaying that she has gotten better at pool, and she is still paid dust. Vicente even, in a drunken moment, lays on her lap, but rather than this be a weird but potentially sweet moment, he utters her sister’s name. Perhaps creating the idea that, while he may note her beauty, and she is still showing up, she may never be enough.

Yet, as an older man, there is still hope that his elder daughters would want to stay over, have breakfast with him, and the way everything is crafted, while you can see Vicente was imperfect, you hope that maybe the girls will allow their father to be a flawed human who, may not have been the best, but still tries and for that, a small token is a just reward.

On The Fence

The Limited Scope Of Vicente

When it comes to Vicente, one thing that may feel notable about him is that we don’t fully understand who he is. Yes, it is noted he has long been good at math, and he may have a drinking problem. But, beyond that, he is a mystery.

For example, what does he do for a living is never discussed. We’re told he is looking for work once, but beyond that? Nothing. Also, what happened between him and the mother of his first two children isn’t made clear.

Now, in some ways, this allows you to focus strictly on who he is as a dad, and potentially only get to know him to the furthest extent that his daughters do. Thus, you can’t really judge him for like his kids, you don’t really know him.

Yet, it’s difficult not to want some nuance, some depth, a better understanding of who Vicente is, especially since his daughters don’t push to know him beyond that he is their papi.

Good If You Like

  • Movies about father/daughter relationships

Recommendations

If you like this movie, we recommend:

  1. Exhibiting Forgiveness: It also focuses on a parent/child relationship, but father and son in this case.

Check out our movies page for our latest movie reviews and recommendations.


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In The Summers – Movie Review

Summary

Our Rating: Positive (Worth Seeing)

What we appreciate about “In The Summers” is that, in many ways, it is straightforward. Similar to a play, it is very tight in its portrayal of the characters and their evolving relationships, and while you might be left with questions about who Vicente is beyond being a father, considering how many films and shows would use that and make the kids secondary, you can come to appreciate the only point of view you get is what is in his daughters’ purview.

Overall
84%
84%
  • The Limited Scope Of Vicente - 78%
    78%
  • When Presence Can Feel Like Forgiveness - 89%
    89%

Highlight(s)

  • When Presence Can Feel Like Forgiveness

Disputable

  • The Limited Scope Of Vicente

What Would Your Rating Be?

2 Comments

    1. There currently isn’t any news about it being bought yet, so it might be one of those Sundance movies that potentially take a year to come out.

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