Movie at a Glance:
Movie Title: Secret Summer
Movie Genre: Family
My Vote: 5 Thumbs Up: Don’t Wait for Santa – Get it Now! *
* This movie is currently only available through PixL’s YouTube Channel.
Jake Kenman played by Derek Theler
Hailey Kenman played by Chiara Aurelia
Noah Kenman played by Max Page
Rachel played by Lindsey Shaw
Movie in a Minute:
Secret Summer is a fun family movie from the independent film studio PixL. It was released just in time for the 2016 summer season. It tells the story of writer Jake Kenman who wants to quietly research his current work-in-progress over the summer. But after receiving an unexpected request to watch his niece and nephew for the summer, he decides to alter his original plans.
Meanwhile, Rachel an out-of-town appraiser shows up asking to look at all of the library’s accounting records. When rumors surface that the library’s new owners plan to sell the property, Jake gets recruited by the head librarian to show Rachel around the town. Can Jake convince Rachel of the library’s importance to the town while also making sure his young charges enjoy their makeshift summer vacation? Find out in this family friendly adventure. ©MegsMinutes.com
I really enjoyed this movie!
Going in to the movie, I was not familiar with the main casting and I was expecting a somewhat stereotypic story. But I was completely wrong. While the idea of a small town fighting to save a landmark might sound over done, this movie stays away from cliché plots and adds in a good bit of originality.
The characters of family members Jake, Hailey, and Noah were written in a fun and dimensional way. It was completely believable that they were uncle, niece, and nephew. I enjoyed getting to see the functional interactions they enjoyed as they searched for hidden treasure and tried to reimagine their summer vacation.
And speaking of hidden treasure, how cool is it that this movie incorporates a fun treasure hunt?! The treasure hunt was enjoyable without fostering any fear. I liked getting to see the hunt develop from the beginning phase of researching the history of the Captain to the family outing in search of the treasure. It was great seeing it develop as a family adventure. I can see where it might cause kids to have a summer interest in history and finding local treasures.
Something else to point out is that in the movie, the main character Jake uses a compass on several family outings. It’s used as an analogy for life as well. It stood out to me as a cool plot element…not to mention the compass itself had an awesome patina.
And here’s a friendly food warning: pancakes are cooked and eaten for breakfast in this movie. I’m sharing this as a friendly FYI so you can be prepared in the event you watch this movie at night. You might just find yourself in the kitchen cooking up a batch of your own! 😉
This movie is a must see for summer (or anytime) and would be a great addition to a weekend movie playlist for both kids and adults. It held my interest from beginning to end. Secret Summer has a high re-watchability factor and whenever it makes its way to DVD, it will definitely be worth the shelf space.
Meg’s Content Cautions:
(Contains an extremely general plot spoiler)
Overall, this is a fun, clean, family friendly movie I highly recommend. I am not sure why this film has a TV-PG rating. The only thing I can think of is that in the movie a character goes missing, which causes a few somewhat tense moments.
V- There is no violence in the movie. A character disappears for some time toward the end of the movie but is soon found.
L- There are no curse words used in the movie.
S- There is no sexually explicit content in the movie. The main couple kiss.
D- There are no dialogue or disturbing topics in the movie.
For more information on the Meg’s Content Cautions rating system, please check out the FAQs page.
Movie Character Notes:
Jake Kenman is a successful writer who left the family business to pursue his passion for history. While researching for his latest book on an old pirate, Jake gets a call from his estranged brother’s wife. It seems they need someone to watch their two kids for the summer. To complicate things, a New Yorker comes to town to appraise the local library for a possible sale and Jake’s soon elected to give her reasons the library shouldn’t be sold to anyone. Can Jake pull off being an uncle for the summer and still do his research all while saving a local library? Jake is played by Derek Theler.
Hailey Kenman is Jake’s niece. She had her hopes set on her family’s summer vacation to Italy. But when a business problem causes her parents to drop her and her brother off at Uncle Jake’s current writing cabin, she isn’t impressed. Will Hailey be able to see that she can still have a summer adventure even if it isn’t across the pond? Hailey is played by Chiara Aurelia.
Noah Kenman is Jake’s nephew. Like his older sister, he was looking forward to a trip to Italy, not rural California. But when his Uncle Jake starts talking about his current writing project, Noah starts to show an interest. Can Noah help Uncle Jake unlock the secret to Captain Black Bart’s treasure? Noah is played by Max Page.
Janice Kenman is Hailey and Noah’s mom and Jake Kenman’s sister-in-law. When their family run business has an emergency, Janice doesn’t want her kids stuck at home with no summer vacation. So, she calls her brother-in-law to see if he would be available to watch his niece and nephew for a few weeks. She’s happy to hear he can, but will she be able to convince her husband it’s their best option? Janice is played by Emily Rose.
Daniel Kenman is Hailey and Noah’s dad and Jake’s brother. When he discovers that his wife Janice has asked his brother to watch their kids for the summer, he isn’t smiling. After a brief talk, Janice gets him to agree to let his brother watch their kids. But Daniel doesn’t think his brother can handle the added stress of family responsibilities. Will Jake prove Daniel wrong? Daniel is played by Lucas Bryant.
Rachel is an all-business city girl to the core who lives and works in New York. But when a VIP client requires a property appraisal in a small California town, Rachel’s boss elects her for the job. Disgruntled about leaving the city limits, she travels cross country. Once she arrives, Rachel soon discovers a town devoted to their local library. Will Jake and the town’s people be able to give her a reason to stop the sale? Rachel is played by Lindsey Shaw.
Gus is the owner of the local bed and breakfast. When Rachel comes to town it doesn’t take him long to hear the rumors circulating about what her visit will mean for their local library. Gus hopes Rachel will see why she should fight for the library. But is she too focused on getting back to the city? Gus is played by Isaiah Washington.
Ms. Annie Archer is the town librarian and historian. She’s worked at the library for over 30 years. When Rachel comes to town, Ms. Archer becomes determined to protect it for the people of the community. Is there any way she can hamper Rachel’s job? Annie is played by Rachel Ticotin.
General Movie Information:
Movie Genre: Family
Movie Year: 2016
Movie Format: Color
Movie Runtime: About 1 hr. 24 min.
How I Found It: I found Secret Summer while looking for something to watch on PixL.
Part of a Series: Nope
Series Name: n/a
Movie Director: Rick Bota
Movie Studio: PixL
Movie Writer: Cara J. Russell, Alec Colantonio-Ray, Adam Rockoff
Movie Rating: TV-PG
Where to Rent and Buy:
Rent on Amazon Video: n/a
Buy DVD on Amazon: n/a
Watch on PixL Movie Channel: http://pixltv.com/secret-summer-premieres-saturday-april-2/
Watch on PixL’s Paid YouTube Channel: https://www.youtube.com/user/pixlmoviechannel
Rent Digitally on iTunes: n/a
Buy Digitally on iTunes: n/a