This film will probably seem really familiar if you saw the original or the other remake later on down the line. It’s not really doing anything different except to add in some extra songs. The story has a fun angle with the main characters being pen pals but in real life they don’t get along at all. It’s almost like a Superman/Clark Kent dynamic with Lois but a little different. I like the idea of it and if this were a TV show you could absolutely milk the premise for quite a few seasons. As it stands you’ll have a good time with this one although I would not say that it is the definitive version of the story.
The film opens up with Andrew having a rather tough first meeting with Veronica as he drops her stuff and then keeps making matters worse the more he tries to get away. They meet up again later on when Veronica is trying to get a job at the store he works at. Andrew doesn’t think this is a very good idea but he is overruled by the boss Otto. Veronica never quite forgets this though and the two are off to a rocky dynamic for the rest of the film. Still, both of them don’t care too much since they are pen pals with someone of true romantic integrity. Little do they know that they are each other’s pen pal. Who will find out first?
So you’ve got a fun plot idea here with the secret romance. You also see how Andrew and Veronica don’t get along due to that first encounter which was rough. I do think that they could have been a little kinder the whole time though. Particularly Veronica as it seemed at least that she was always the one picking fights and starting trouble. She insulted his intelligence on more than one occasion and apparently would make fun of him through imitations to the other co-workers. While you can say that maybe he did things to jump-start this in each instance, all we see if her attacking him and rarely the flip side.
So it almost goes far enough in the other direction where you wonder why he still likes her. It doesn’t seem like he could possibly still like her after all of this right? Fighting is a part of the rom-com formula of course but since it’s more one sided it always just feels off the whole time. I think Veronica is still a good character and gets a lot of fun moments though.
Meanwhile Andrew may have made a mess of things in the opening scene but otherwise he seems to be pretty good at the job and you can see why he was promoted. Ultimately he probably should have stood up for himself a bit more when being asked to do two different things by Otto and Nellie though. Either you help one or you help the other but don’t try to say that you’ll help both. That’s just not going to work, it can’t work because they want completely different things and it just ends up with him being in the middle.
There’s a lot of fun dialogue during the banter between Andrew and Veronica. The supporting characters tend to vanish a bit in this version though so they really aren’t very memorable. Otto has to hold it all together on his own as far as the side characters go. He’s a fun boss who is super selfish and will gladly ruin everyone else’s day if he thinks that he is going to have a bad one. So much for teamwork, it’s his way or the highway. He certainly won’t admit to making any mistakes either, he figures that if he did something then he definitely did it right. This leads to a whole plot of his buying a lot of harps and not being able to sell them because they just weren’t popular.
Otto never really learns a lesson here either so he actually ends up in the same place that he started. This movie is part musical so you’ve also got some songs now and again but honestly not as much as you would expect. The songs weren’t bad, I wouldn’t say they were really my style but they don’t take away from the film as much as a bunch of songs could have. It’s balanced well enough where this doesn’t become a big worry which is good.
The humor isn’t quite laugh out loud funny but you won’t be bored which is really the important thing. This is a very low key film that is entertaining all the way through. I’d say it survives on solid fundamentals like good pacing and just never stopping. Something is always happening even if you feel like they could have taken the premise a bit further. Have one of the characters figure out the pen pal’s identity sooner so you could spend a good part of the film with some fun manipulating going on in the background. Alternately, have more scenes about each of the main characters talking about the pen pal and that could work too.
The movie does a good job of really showing why it’s impractical to fall in love with someone that you’ve never met though. At the end of the day it’s just impossible because you don’t truly know the person. Looks may not be everything but it’s certainly not nothing either. It’s also real easy to be writing just about anything but to get to know someone you have to hang out with them IRL, at least if you’re planning to be more than platonic friends. It may be played for laughs with how different each character is compared to their written self but it also makes sense because people do talk and write very differently. I like to think this shows in my blogging style as well and if I were to ever start video streaming or something then it would be a fun comparison. Don’t see that happening anytime soon though so you’ll just have my written reviews!
Overall, In the Good Ole Summertime is a bit of an odd title for the film. I mean it’s not like it’s completely unrelated but you would really not have as much of a clue as to what the film is about. Film titles don’t have to match the plots but ideally there should be a bit of a stronger connection. I’d assume this was more of a laidback slice of life. Either way I do recommend the film though. It’s not particularly ambitious but it’s a good movie and that’s all it needed to be.