A teenager spends his summer listening to heavy metal music and trying to get along with his librarian mom.

Based on the graphic novel by Joff Winterhart, “Days of the Bagnold Summer” is a surprisingly charming yet simple story of a mother and son who couldn’t be any more different from one another, begrudgingly  and unexpectedly spending a summer vacation together.  Monica Dolan gives us an engagingly delightful Nervous Nelly performance as a Sue Bagnold, a school librarian and mom who is still trying to figure out her life while protecting her teenage grungy son, Daniel (Earl Cave) from the pains of it all; specifically those inflicted by his father, Sue’s ex.  At odds with Daniel, and herself, the two push each other away while attempting to pull themselves emotionally together, but when you’re talking about the crazy adolescent life of a boy, that’s tough to do.  Each scene is filled with typical responses from Daniel that almost every mother of a teen has experienced, making Sue that much more endearing.  Both Dolan and Cave fit their characters perfectly and give us a story that one might deem a “coming of age” tale…for both mother and son.  “Summer” is simply delightful.

3 Stars

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