Imagine some truly optimistic folks just deciding to make a movie musical that has a message of love and inclusion with a cast and crew of people with and without disabilities. Now imagine someone giving them the money and the end result is a weird and delightful tossed screen-salad of Crip Camp and High School Musical, with a side of Grease, where no one mentions the disabilities, and there is truly authentic disability representation. That is the joyful, refreshing Best Summer Ever, which is filled with high school cliques and mean girls and jocks, but some, for example, are walking, and some are in wheelchairs. The student body represents a wide variety of kids with disabilities and without, but they all have the same high school pressures and drama. The question isn’t ‘why does this movie exist?’, but rather, ‘what took so long?’ and ‘why aren’t there more like this?’
Sage (Shannon DeVido) and Anthony (Rickey Wilson) fall for each other at a summer dance camp, only to part until the following year. but wait! A series of mishaps lands Sage at the same high school as Rickey, who lied about being a dancer from New York. He’s actually the football star in a small town obsessed with the sport, and he is in the closet about his love of dance. Surrounded by cliques, an evil cheerleader, and Sage, who harbors her own family secret, will Anthony reveal his feelings to his sweetheart, and his love of dance to his team? We’ll find out 8 songs, lots of movie homages, some fun cameos, and a few plot twists later.
For the full review, go to AWFJ.org HERE.