Review: The Last Summer stands out from recent Netflix films

Netflix’s “The Last Summer” is a refreshing counterpart to the same overused plots.


The movie poster for The Last Summer.

Anna Woodward, Staff Writer

When I saw the preview for Netflix’s new film, “The Last Summer”, I didn’t know what to expect. I’ve enjoyed watching their teen movies since “The Kissing Booth” was released, but their latest films like “The Perfect Date” haven’t lived up to the addictingly entertaining standards set by ones like “To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before.” Instead, they seem like the same characters (and actors) thrown togethers with a slightly different plot, which is getting old. But “The Last Summer” exceeded my expectations.

The movie was a lot more entertaining than Netflix’s previous movies. It still kept with the somewhat cheesy factors found in movies such as “The Kissing Booth,” like teenagers played by 20-something year olds and unrealistically stylish outfits, but “The Last Summer” stood out. It combined the cliches of every teen movie with an original twist that made the plot interesting and the characters engaging.

“The Last Summer” tells the story of multiple teenagers fresh out of high school. Each of them is going to a different college and must navigate the confusion of relationships between friends, family and significant others before summer ends. The main characters include Griffin (KJ Apa), a prep school boy with daddy issues and a love for music, Phoebe (Maia Mitchell), an aspiring director, Erin (Halston Sage), the girl next door and Alec (Jacob Latimore), who’s struggling to get over his ex.

What I liked best about the movie is that since there was such a variety of characters, something that’s a little hard to find in other Netflix films. In “The Last Summer”, you got to see the stereotypes associated with every teen movie (the jock, the party girl, etc.) that make them fit the genre, but also ones that weren’t typically seen in teen movies. For example, one character is able to be smart and popular, something that’s unheard of in many movies.

Compared to other Netflix movies like “Sierra Burgess is a Loser” and “The Perfect Date,” this film was much more enjoyable, mainly because of all the different characters and storylines. It had comedic moments, ones that made you smile and ones that got you in the mood for summer. I think that’s what I liked most about this film. It showed the predictable moments that happen in every teen movie, but with a refreshing variety of situations, all with a common theme that set it apart even more from other Netflix films: summer.

There was crying and sad moments, but there were barbeques, images of spending long summer days with your friends and all the things that make that season memorable. It showed the realistic part of graduating high school and going to college, while keeping with a lively tone that made viewers excited for the upcoming summer. In short, it was the vibe of this movie that made me enjoy it more than other Netflix films.

Thankfully, “The Last Summer” wasn’t a complete flop. It was still cliched and predictable, but it was an entertaining movie to watch and one that made me smile. Is it one of my favorites? Probably not. But is it worth the watch? Yes.