Yet another in the seemingly endless stream of coming out films
in Queer Cinema,
SUMMER STORM was the closing night feature at
the 2005 NewFest. Because of other commitments, I didn't catch the
movie at that time, but now that I've managed to catch up with it,
I'm not all that upset. It's an okay drama that has the whiff of "been
there, done that."

SUMMER STORM centers on Tobi (Robert Stadlober), a blond
rowing star who harbors a secret crush on his best friend Achim (Kostja
Ullmann), who is apparently clueless about Tobi's desires. Despite all
the time they spend together (including bouts of masturbation that
recall similar scenes in the far superiod
is interested only in his girlfriend Sandra (Miriam Morgenstern) while
Tobi is assumed to be chasing after Anke (Alicja Bachleda-Curus).

The boys and girls are to spend part of the summer participating
in a yearly rowing competition. When they arrive, they discover that
the women's team from Berlin has dropped out and been replaced by
QueerSchlag, or the "Queer Strokes." This causes a bit of consternation
among some of Tobi's mates, but it also awakens something in him.
He eventually passes an afternoon with the members of the
rival team and has his first sexual experience with Leo (Marlon Kittel).
But the assignation doesn't have the expected results: Tobi is
only drawn further to Achim, despite his lack of interest.

The film is reportedly semi-autobiographical and drawn in part
from the life of writer-director Marco Kreuzpaintner. (He co-wrote the
script with Thomas Bahmann.) There are elements in the film that
do have an air of authenticity but after seeing numerous other
comedies and dramas on the subject,
SUMMER STORM really doesn't
add anything new.

                Rating:                C
                MPAA Rating:        R for sexuality, language and
                                                 drug content
                Running time:       98 mins.
Summer Storm
©  2006 by C. E. Murphy. All Rights Reserved.