This movies isn't so much a "coming of age" story as it is a glimpse into the cause and effect of various character's actions and emotions. The movie is filmed beautifully. Something about the way it was filmed almost felt voyeur-like. It's a slow telling -- people looking for action, adventure or intense drama aren't going to enjoy it. For the most part, the teens convey a believable apathy, and the angst that is presumably just under the surface stays there under a veil of boredom and is just alluded to by the cinematography. The teen characters are solid. They perfectly embody the flippant and nonchalant attitude of that age group. Their conversations and interactions were natural, and thankfully, none of them were precocious, precious or inherently bad. All in all, it was a very languid telling of minor actions and their major consequences.
The Hudsons - husband and wife William and Linda, and their fifteen year old son Adam - are spending the summer, like they have the several recent past summers, at their cottage on the northwestern shore of Lake Superior. William and Linda are still trying to perpetuate them being the perfect family, which they have been able to do as Adam is still closer emotionally to childhood than he is to adulthood and still largely follows parental rules. However, William wants to be both Adam's father and best friend as he is encouraging Adam to pursue Taylor, a similarly aged girl Adam has known forever at the lake. Adam doesn't want to admit to anyone that he does like Taylor in that way, he justifying his non-action by not wanting to ruin their friendship. This summer for the first time, Adam hangs out with cousins Riley and Nate, who are a little rougher around the edges than him. They are spending the summer with their permissive grandmother, Riley living with her permanently since the death of his parents. Riley and Nate's relationship is characterized by roughhousing, smoking (both cigarettes and weed), petty theft, hazing type rituals such as vandalism, and oneupmanship in the form of dares in feats of what they see as masculinity. Adam gets caught up in their life, with William's blessing in wanting again to act the friend, although Adam does consider Riley a true friend, the more sensitive one, as opposed to Nate who is all teen bravado. Adam has reason to be drawn more to the cousins than to his parents this summer, in him discovering that his family is less than perfect. However, as Adam tries to be who everyone wants him to be, he may have to grow up quickly without that true responsible guidance to show him the way.