I’m not sure if a spiritual force is leading me on a path to be the go-to guy to write about “naturist filmmaking” but, nevertheless, here I am reviewing another movie about naturism co-starring real-life nudists – Micky’s Summer Resort.
The titular teenager (Michael Soulema) is fascinated by the nudist lifestyle. In fact, he’s so curious that he applies for a job at a nearby clothing-optional resort. Micky is hired to be a screener, a job requiring the teen to interview new members and identify who is truly serious about naturalism and who’s more interested in gawking at naked bodies. Micky meets members of the community (including going gaga for an elusive woman named Joy played by Magda Marcella) and, over the season, he weighs in on the housekeeping; including a controversial naturist pageant. Micky believes the pageant tampers with the integrity of the resort and the naturalist lifestyle. While regulars may agree (including his superiors), they also see a beneficial angle to the unorthodox event. But if someone is being confrontational with Micky, he has a trick up his sleeve to “get rid of them”.
Much like last April’s The Nudels of Nudeland, Tony Young’s comedy Micky’s Summer Resort attempts to pitch viewers a variety of entertaining situations in a campy package. While I wasn’t that enthusiastic for Tim Chizmar’s The Nudels of Nudeland, Tony Young’s wishy-washy Micky’s Summer Resort made me appreciate Chizmar’s efforts more. While messy, Chizmar had a consistent vision and mostly stuck with it. There are so many ideas in Young’s flick, and the filmmaker never decides which one should drive the story. Sometimes the movie is a teen gross-out comedy, sometimes it’s sci-fi, and sometimes it resembles a documentary (using similar ClothesFree International footage seen in Chizmar’s flick). Instead of focusing on one angle or finding a balance between several genres, Young positions himself in an awkward situation where he’s spinning too many plates one at a time.
Micky’s Summer Resort does have a slight edge on The Nudels of Nudeland in the sense that it isn’t as heavy-handed about recruiting people to embrace a naturalist lifestyle. When it has its preachy moments, it fits in the spirit of a Troma production (the film can currently be streamed on Troma’s online platform). However, the final act involving the pageant is problematic. Young, much like Micky, is a firm believer in the naturist lifestyle. Judging by the film’s press kit, the co-writer/director also doesn’t want the lifestyle to be sexualized or seen as gratuitous. But as the pageant lingered on young naked women, I found Young’s filmmaking resisted with the movie’s otherwise confident mission statement. If Micky is concerned about the integrity of a naturist pageant, he may not want to watch this movie.
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Addison Wylie: @AddisonWylie