Film Review: A Dozen Summers

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A Dozen Summers is a light-hearted, funny and entertaining coming-of-age comedy

If you’re looking for a light-hearted, funny family film to keep the children entertained this summer, check out A Dozen Summers. 

A Dozen Summers is a coming-of-age comedy about two twelve-year-old girls trying to make sense of life in the 21st century. It follows Maisie and Daisy McCormack, twin sisters who inadvertently hijack a children’s adventure film and proceed to tell the story of their own lives. Maisie and Daisy lead us through their day-to-day life, as they juggle home and school life, battling bullies, dealing with parents and falling in love.

Written and directed by Kenton Hall, A Dozen Summers is a light-hearted, funny and enjoyable feature-length comedy about the complicated journey towards adolescence. It focuses on the difficult pre-teen years stranded between childhood and adulthood which many youngsters (and indeed their parents) can relate to. Considering its tiny budget (an estimated £20,000 according IMDb), the team behind the movie have done a fantastic job to produce a slick, well-produced movie that is worthy of its limited cinema distribution. The script is fast-paced, witty and entertaining, the editing is slick, tight and clever, and the young cast are funny, likeable and incredibly easy to watch.

Kenton Hall plays Henry McCormack, father to Maisie and Daisy who has sacrificed more than they realise to give them a stable home life. A novelist whose career kept him travelling for many years, Henry is desperately trying to make up for lost time even if the girls find him a little trying at times.

Sarah Warren plays Jacqueline, the twins’ mother and a struggling model with an idiosyncratic parenting method and a taste for ‘unusual’ men, much to the dislike of her girls.

The film features a few familiar faces, notably stage and screen legend Colin Baker (Doctor Who) as The Narrator, whose dialogue both at the start and the end of the film is incredibly funny. Ewen MacIntosh (The Office) also stars as Gary, the beleaguered shopkeeper whose strict “three children at a time” rule is thrown into utter disarray by the presence of a movie camera.

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The true stars of the film however are the girls, Hero and Scarlet Hall who play the McCormack sisters. Hero is superb as Daisy McCormack, the smart, sarcastic youngster who says exactly what she’s thinking. Scarlet Hall is equally good as Maisie McCormack, the quieter one of the pair who is kind and considerate but doesn’t suffer fools gladly. Considering A Dozen Summers is Hero and Scarlet’s first feature film, the girls clearly have a flair for acting and no doubt will have a long career ahead of them.

A Dozen Summers is the first of two Monkey Basket Film features this year and is a crowd sourced independent production. In terms of script, direction and cast, A Dozen Summers is worthy of five stars. My only criticism relates to the sound in a couple of scenes, particularly when Maisie and Daisy visit Jacqueline’s new home to meet her boyfriend Tyler. At times, it is hard to hear the girls’ dialogue over the background music, however this is a minor criticism and will not spoil your overall viewing.

Likeable, funny and highly entertaining, A Dozen Summers is a great coming-of-age film that will appeal to both young people and their parents alike. An entertaining indie that is worthy of its chance on the big screen.

4.5 out of 5 stars

A Dozen Summers is released on 21 August 2015 in limited UK cinemas.

A Dozen Summers – Trailer