A Plumm Summer

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Good intentions are never enough and "A Plumm Summer" again proves that point. This family film is willing to tackle important issues such as burgeoning sexuality, alcoholism and a troubled home life but does so in a bland and unconvincing story. Boxoffice prospects look poor for this limited release from Freestyle.

An idyllic summer in Montana's Big Sky country gets interrupted by the theft of a local TV childrens show's key prop, a marionette named Froggy Doo. Two young brothers (Chris J. Kelly and Owen Pearce) play detective in Hardy Boys fashion, which does take their mind off the excessive drinking of their ex-boxer dad (William Baldwin) and his increasing estrangement from his wife (ex-sports broadcaster Lisa Guerrero).

Chief problem here is one of proportion. Would the loss of a puppet, even in a small town, really trigger a police dragnet, screaming newspaper headlines and the arrival of two FBI agents albeit buffoonish ones? For that matter, why does the show's host (Henry Winkler) not have a backup marionette?

There's a significant sag in the story at the midpoint where little happens. Then a few highly charged revelatory scenes within the Plumm family and then within the TV host's own family give the film a bit of emotional oomph. Too little too late, however.

Tech credits amid the rural Montana locations are fine in this film exec produced by Guerrero and her ex-Yankee pitcher husband, Scott Erickson.

A PLUMM SUMMER
Freestyle
Home Team Prods./Fairplay Pictures
Credits:
Director: Caroline Zelder
Writer: TJ Lynch, Frank Antonelli, Caroline Zelder
Producers: Frank Antonelli, Caroline Zelder
Executive producers: Scott Erickson, Lisa Guerrero
Director of photography: Mark Vargo
Production designer: Alan E. Muraoka
Music: Tom Hiel
Co-producer: Doug Metzger
Costume designer: Nola Roller
Editor: Jonathan Lucas
Cast:
Happy Herb: Henry Winkler
Mick Plumm: William Baldwin
Roxie Plumm: Lisa Guerrero
Viv: Brenda Strong
Elliott: Chris J. Kelly
Rocky: Owen Pearce
Haley: Morgan Flynn
Narrator: Jeff Daniels
Running time -- 103 minutes
No MPAA rating

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