"Aloha Summer" (at the AMC Century 14 and other theaters) has everything its title suggests: teen romance, Waikiki surf 'n' sand and a pop sound track.
Yet it has so much more--a judicious blend of melodrama, humor and sentimentality--that it surprises you with its depth and perception.
Few glossy, big-budget films are graced with as intelligent and comprehensive a script as this. Writers Mike Greco and Bob Benedetto, working from Greco's semi-autobiographical story, have created realistic characters for director Tommy Lee Wallace and his cast to bring to life with conviction and economy. Not only does "Aloha Summer" have the bright look of old picture post cards but also the "heart" of multicharacter '50s films. It's set in Waikiki in 1959, the year Hawaii became a state, a transitional period that serves as a metaphor for the coming-of-age that its young people experience over a long summer. It centers on six youths: Mike (Chris Makepeace), a nice middle-class guy from San Jose; Chuck (Don Michael Paul), a handsome, rich young man from Los Angeles; Kenzo (Yuji Okumoto), a very traditional Japanese from Kyoto; his Hawaiian Japanese-American cousin Scott (Scott Nakagawa), and two Hawaiian beach boys, Jerry (Blaine Kia) and Kilarney (Warren Fabro).