Indian Summer

1993, PG-13, 97 min. Directed by Mike Binder. Starring Alan Arkin, Diane Lane, Matt Craven, Bill Paxton, Elizabeth Perkins, Vincent Spano, Kevin Pollak, Sam Raimi, Julie Warner, Kimberly Williams.

REVIEWED By Hollis Chacona, Fri., April 30, 1993

I've short-sheeted beds and belted out camp songs with the best of them. Indian Summer made me long to be back in one of those gloriously rickety, mildewed cabins in a lush, rural forest. Provided, that is, I wouldn't have to bunk with any of the stupefyingly self-involved, gee-how-can-I-be-happy-with-all-my-wealth-and-beauty morons that Camp Tamakwa apparently produces. Despite tantalizing ingredients like the beguiling cast and spectacular scenery (the film is shot on location at the real Camp Tamakwa in Ontario's Algonquin Provincial Park), writer/director Mike Binder serves up an unappetizing concoction of Big Chill and Ernest Goes to Camp stew. Unable to face another year of Nineties-style campers who won't turn down their jamboxes long enough to hear an owl hoot, Unca Lou (Arkin) calls for a final reunion of his Golden Era of Camping alumni. Seven best friends show up with twenty years worth of neurotic baggage that they miraculously unload during their week-long stay. Their cure? Unca Lou's sage woodsman lore and the re-enactment of several “shrecks,” Tamakwan lingo for clever tricks like filling a bunkmate's sleeping bag with toothpaste or dipping a sleeping camper's hands in warm water. The few really funny or touching moments are all but eclipsed by predictable and sometimes downright distasteful plot developments. With an ending sweeter than a S'more, I left the theatre craving a couple of plain old Meatballs.

A note to readers: Bold and uncensored, The Austin Chronicle has been Austin’s independent news source for almost 40 years, expressing the community’s political and environmental concerns and supporting its active cultural scene. Now more than ever, we need your support to continue supplying Austin with independent, free press. If real news is important to you, please consider making a donation of $5, $10 or whatever you can afford, to help keep our journalism on stands.

Support the Chronicle  

READ MORE
More Mike Binder Films
Black or White
Kevin Costner and Octavia Spencer play guardians who fight over the custody of their granddaughter.

William Goss, Jan. 30, 2015

Reign Over Me
This Adam Sandler and Don Cheadle film is often disjointed and needlessly sentimental, though the film's whole often compensates for its sketchy parts.

Marjorie Baumgarten, March 23, 2007

More by Hollis Chacona
Luminarias

July 14, 2000

Dill Scallion

Oct. 8, 1999

KEYWORDS FOR THIS FILM

Indian Summer, Mike Binder, Alan Arkin, Diane Lane, Matt Craven, Bill Paxton, Elizabeth Perkins, Vincent Spano, Kevin Pollak, Sam Raimi, Julie Warner, Kimberly Williams

MORE IN THE ARCHIVES
NEWSLETTERS
One click gets you all the newsletters listed below

Breaking news, arts coverage, and daily events

Can't keep up with happenings around town? We can help.

Austin's queerest news and events

New recipes and food news delivered Mondays

Eric Goodman's Austin FC column, other soccer news

Information is power. Support the free press, so we can support Austin.   Support the Chronicle