starring Grant Davis, Davi Santos, Ben Baur, Ajiona Alexus
screenplay by Carlos Pedraza, based on the novel by Jay Bell
directed by David Berry
by Alice Stoehr Musicals bloom from effusive emotion. When Catherine Deneuve strolled down the streets of Cherbourg, when Judy Garland hopped on a St. Louis trolley, their yearnings were too intense to merely be spoken. They had to be sung. In Something Like Summer, newcomer Grant Davis stars as Ben Bentley, a Texan teen and aspiring singer who's heartsick (like Deneuve and Garland) over a boy. But his sweetheart Tim, played by Davi Santos, is a "good-looking jock," as Ben puts it--closeted, Catholic, and deeply ashamed. After a few sub rosa liaisons, the two bitterly part ways. The film cuts to a dim, empty theatre, where Ben sublimates his sorrows into a cover of the break-up song "Barely Breathing": "I know what you're doing," he warbles. "I see it all too clear." While Deneuve had Jacques Demy and Garland had Vincente Minnelli, Davis has first-time director David Berry, who stages the handful of musical numbers with minimal panache. No dancing, some haphazard camera movement, the actor emoting on a stage. Later, handheld close-ups will peer at Davis during his halting rendition of "La Vie en rose." (He sings it in a Parisian café, the Eiffel Tower shining through a nearby window.) The soundtrack includes a couple of new compositions alongside songs originally by Regina Spektor and Ne-Yo, many of them intercut with bland montage, none of their lyrics especially salient to the story. Cohesion and spectacle both receive low priority versus the endless reams of plot.