Joey Javitts (Natalie Shershow) has just lost her father and is grieving. Her mother, Carissa (Sarah Overman) is an author, so despite recent events and prior commitments, she has to drop Joey off at her grandparents for the summer while she goes on a book tour.
Then one night as Joey is getting unpacked, she spies a boy in a house across the street about to do something dangerous. Running across the street and into his house, Joey realises that Victor (Jack Levis) was only being melodramatic and is reassured as he explains to her about his goth lifestyle and how his outward appearance is a reflection of his inner self.
After a somewhat romantic encounter that night, Joey goes to see Victor and meets his friends; Pen (Jenny White) and Cob (Carter Allen) who are also goths and after being enticed by their lives, Joey is convinced to undergo a dramatic goth makeover. However, as Joey and Victor get closer, Victor’s intentions may not be all that they seem.
My Summer as a Goth is a coming of age comedy drama and feature debut by writer/director Tara Johnson-Medinger. Clearly taking inspiration from teenage coming of age dramas such as The Lost Boys and Heathers, Johnson-Medinger’s movie seems like a loving throwback to those films of the 80’s where teenage girls were enamoured with boys only to learn an important lesson about themselves in the process.
The trouble is that these influences make the film a little dated and so does the goth aesthetic which may have better suited a movie over 30 years ago, but wouldn’t quite wash with teenage audiences today.
In fact, a lot of the jokes are even about goths dressing differently, doing unusual things and listening to different kinds of music which feels counterintuitive to today’s messages of inclusion and acceptance that teenagers would know.
Also, the older members of the audience may recognise Victor’s behaviour much faster than the younger ones, which isn’t so bad as it’s the point of his character. However, the script hammers the message home so much during the final few scenes it feels like the audience is being lectured by somebody older and wiser. My Summer as a Goth may know what kind of movie it is and who the audience are, but it feels like a shade of the much better movies that it mimics.
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