The beginning of Hot Summer Nights hints that Call Me by Your Name breakout Timothée Chalamet is embarking on another gay odyssey. After his outsider character, Daniel, lands in bougie Cape Cod circa 1991, he can’t stop staring into the sea-blue eyes of local rebel — and drug dealer — Hunter Strawberry (Alex Roe).
And when Daniel takes his first bong hit, director Elijah Bynum frames his lips hitting the glass with a deliberate wink, in a shot that unmistakably suggests fellatio. But as the two find themselves slinging weed to every cardigan-wearing toker in town, Daniel and Hunter become more bros than bedfellows, and Hunter’s sister, McKayla (Maika Monroe), steps in as Daniel’s true conquest.
Lifting themes and vibes from touchstones like Fast Times at Ridgemont High, Mean Girls, Dirty Dancing, and Goodfellas, Bynum delivers a sun-drenched mash-up of a teenage dream and a breaking-bad nightmare, thus propelling Chalamet forward as Hollywood’s new prince of awkward confidence.