Writer: Sharon Wilharm (Screenplay)
Starring: Rachel Schrey, Cameron Gilliam, Bethany Davenport, Christopher Dalton, Sam Brooks, Sharonne Lanier, Jerrold Edwards
Plot: Based on real life events, Summer of ’67 brings to life the turbulent times of the sixties and the struggles faced by the men and women impacted by the Vietnam War.
Tagline – Their lives will never be the same again.
Runtime: 1 Hour 23 Minutes
There may be spoilers the rest of the review
Verdict: Touching Look at the Effects of War
Story: Summer of 67 starts as the war on Vietnam is starting, we head to a small-town where we meet recently married Milly (Schrey) and her sister Kate (Davenport), Milly’s husband Gerald (Gilliam) is hoping he doesn’t get drafted, facing the reality he can’t get another job until he has done his service, while Beth’s boyfriend Peter (Dalton) would rather enlist that head off to college.
With Gerald and Peter going on the same ship the USS Forrestal, Mill facing bring their second child into the world alone, waiting for his return, while Beth looks to start searching for her future with hippie Van (Brooks). We get to see the effects of the separation as we get to see one more couple Reggie (Edwards) and Ruby Mae (Lanier) who have final found each other, but are being separated too.
Thoughts on Summer of 67
Characters – Milly and Kate both witnesses a tragic event in the opening of the film, Milly the older sister gets married and starts a family, one hoping to have their own home, but watches how her husband must go to war to be given an opportunity at a better job. Kate young and more impressable at her college age, with a college sweetheart, that wants to go to war, she is against any war which leads her into the arms of a hippie who is against the war. The two both are left waiting to see if their loves will return. Gerald is the husband of Milly who has no other option but to go to war, to give his family a future of stability. Peter is the college aged man that must choose between war or college. Van is one of the hippies that starts to sway Kate’s opinion on war with his anti-war views. We do get to see Ruby Mae who is a maid for the family and her new love Reggie, which does take a back burner even though they are going through the same situation.
Performances – Rachel Schrey is great in her role, we see how she makes her character need to be the big sister, wife and mother to three different characters each showing the strength she used through the anxious times away from her love. Bethany Davenport is good in her role, we get to see how she makes her late-teenage character be so unsure how to think about the war situation. When it comes to the male performers, they are good, but do have less time on screen. Sharonne Lanier is also good in her role, even if we could have given her more screen time.
Story – The story here follows the wives and girlfriends that are left together in small-town while their partners head off to Vietnam. We have three women who while are around the same age (Well within 10 years) who are at different love stages, one with kids, one at the crossroads and one just fallen, this helps understand the different feelings the characters would be going through. Seeing how they try to stay together through the unknown, not knowing other than short television updates gives us a reflection of the war genre. This does touch on a real event, which if you know your history you will know the direction things will go. The best part of this not taking us to the war side of the film because we don’t need just another war movie.
History/Romance – The does give us a look at the people left behind during the Vietnam war, this will look at people watching at home. The romance side of the film shows us how the three women are left to continue their lives while being unsure of the safety of their own loved ones.
Settings – The film keeps us in the small-town setting which does show us the unity between the women who are left behind waiting.
Final Thoughts – This is a movie that shows us just how damaging going to war can be on the people that are left behind, the waiting, the anxiety of not knowing and the bravery they must put on to remain strong around family and friends.
Overall: Touching, strong and impactful