|Directed by||Marco Kreuzpaintner|
|Written by||Thomas Bahmann|
|Produced by||Jakob Claussen|
|Starring|| Robert Stadlober |
|Edited by||Hansjörg Weißbrich|
|Music by||Niki Reiser|
|Distributed by||X Verleih AG|
|Budget|| €2.7 million|
Summer Storm (German : Sommersturm) is a 2004 German coming-of-age comedy-drama film directed by Marco Kreuzpaintner, starring Robert Stadlober, Kostja Ullmann, Alicja Bachleda-Curuś, and Miriam Morgenstern. The story is set to the background of a rowing regatta, which climaxes into a summer storm.
Teams from all across Germany descend on a quiet camping ground for a week of training leading up to a final rowing competition. The plot follows the members of the RSC rowing club from southern Germany as they train for the regatta.
The boys are excited by the prospects of camping with a female rowing team from Berlin. However, by a stroke of fate, the Berlin girls' team cancels and is replaced by Queerschlag ("Queerstrokes"), a gay youth rowing team, and these boys are out, proud, and vocal about it.
Amidst the occasionally tense interactions between the members of his team and those of Queerschlag, Tobi is himself forced to confront his long-time feelings for his close friend and teammate Achim, who is already romantically involved with his girlfriend Sandra. Spurned by Achim, Tobi is devastated, but is partly consoled by his new friendship with Queerschlag member Leo.
The tension between the members of the two teams culminates in a scene set to the backdrop of a summer storm, during which Leo confronts Tobi about his homosexuality in front of his teammates. Tobi denies being gay, and, in an attempt to defend him, one of his teammates tells Tobi's girlfriend Anke to tell the rest of his teammates so. Anke, the only person to whom Tobi has confided his secret, remains silent.
Ultimately, Tobi comes out to his teammates and his rowing team, who seem to accept Tobi no matter what, and they go on to compete with Queerschlag in the final regatta.
Summer Storm received mixed reviews, currently holding a 48% rating on review aggregator website Rotten Tomatoes based on 31 reviews.On Metacritic, the film has a 51/100 rating, signifying "mixed or average reviews".
According to Dennis Harvey of Variety , the film have "…psychologically sharp writing and performances".
Michael Wilmington of Chicago Tribune said that "Summer Storm is a contemporary teen summer romance with a modern sexual twist" and "believable characters".
Steve Murray of The Atlanta Journal-Constitution "Summer Storm nicely captures the awkward confusion of first-time sexual encounters (gay or straight) and the collateral wounds caused by deceiving others and oneself".
German website Kabeleins praised the film for being "beautifully produced" and actors as "very authentically played".
London-based branch of Time Out wrote that "...the story's main strength lies in its characters..."
TV Guide's Alexander Ryll called the film "An observant and sensitively played drama about adolescent sexuality, unrequited love and heartbreak",while Kevin Thomas of Los Angeles Times said that "Kreuzpaintner displays a natural gift with actors and a clarity in storytelling that result in a fresh take on what otherwise might have been a familiar coming-of-age story." Ella Taylor of LA Weekly also commented on the film, calling it "A lovely wallow in the sweaty pains and joys of mostly gay adolescent love".
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