All criticism is subjective.

While we can steep our reviews of films or books or albums in an effort toward objectivity, the truth is that our own personal tastes and biases are going to be part of the equation. It’s the nature of the business – our opinions are what form the foundation of our writings on the matter.

And yet, sometimes, we’re gifted with a piece of art that manages to largely transcend that struggle between the subjective and objective. We read or watch or hear something that establishes its value and purity simply through being what it is. One can try to attach judgments or measurements to it, but its power is made obvious by the fact that it exists.

“Best Summer Ever” is that kind of art. It’s an original musical, directed by Michael Parks Randa and Lauren Smitelli from a script co-penned by the two plus Will Halby, Terra Mackintosh and Andrew Pilkington. The film is the latest project from Zeno Mountain Farm, a camp whose mission is to immerse the disabled and non-disabled in the arts.

And it is an absolute delight.

Featuring an entirely inclusive cast, “Best Summer Ever” is unique in that that inclusivity isn’t central to the plot. It simply is, in a manner that practically vibrates with joyous energy. It is a sweet and good-hearted story of young love, featuring a number of original songs and a winking affection for other examples of the teen movie musical genre. It is a charming and often hilarious film, one that illustrates the possibilities that come with refusing to let our differences define us.

Published in Buzz


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