The best that can be said about teen sex comedy Staten Island Summer is that it goes down easy. Good-enough cast members like Saturday Night Live players Bobby Moynihan and Fred Armisen make a formulaic one-last-party-before-college narrative a palatable rehash of nostalgic coming-of-age films like Superbad and Adventureland.
Little here is uniquely commendable, save for some location-specific jokes about overprotective Mafia dads, wine-swilling cougars, and tacky Italian-American stereotypes. The rest of the film is dedicated to the romantic/hormonal quests of sensitive-but-horny lifeguard Danny (Graham Phillips) and obnoxiously whiny best friend Frank (Zack Pearlman): Danny wants to impress his hot former babysitter Krystal (Ashley Greene) while Frank wants to lose his virginity.
Danny and Frank’s horny hijinks are wholly predictable, right down to Armisen’s eccentric, Bill Murray–in-Caddyshack style groundskeeper and Method Man’s weed-dealing ice cream man. The most emotionally charged scenes don’t really work, like when Frank pseudo-romantically asks Krystal if she could “pretend” that she doesn’t want to be the “type of person who wants to marry me but doesn’t want to kiss me.”
Staten Island Summer may run on fumes, but it coasts well enough when it focuses on weed, beer, and condom jokes. Many of these jokes connect because genial comedians like Moynihan are very comfortable in their stock parts. As friendly burnout Skootch, Moynihan’s hangdog shtick isn’t gut-bustingly hilarious. But watching Skootch use a CPR dummy as a bong is funny enough to make this not a terrible choice if there’s nothing else available at your local Redbox.
Staten Island Summer
Directed by Rhys Thomas
Now playing, AMC Kips Bay 15
This article from the Village Voice Archive was posted on July 24, 2015