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Film / The Last Summer

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A 2019 Netflix released teen Dramedy following a loosely connected group of kids in Chicago who are trying to get the most out of their last summer before college, the last summer free of those responsibilities of adulthood.

Erin (Halston Sage) and Alec (Jacob Latimore), a long-time couple, decide to break up rather than try being a long-distance couple, and start dating other people — baseball player Ricky (Tyler Posey) and popular girl Paige Wilcox (Gage Golightly), respectively — only to find it's a bit complicated. Griffin (KJ Apa), who is going to a college that isn't what he really wanted, begins dating Phoebe (Maia Mitchell), who is making a documentary about graduating students to try and get the money to pay for her college. Nerdy kids Chad (Jacob MacCarthy) and Reece (Mario Revolori) are mistaken for stockbrokers in a bar and try to fall in with that crowd. Alec's best friend, Foster (Wolfgang Novogratz), has a list of girls he hopes to romance but keeps striking out. Erin's best friend, working class girl Audrey (Sosie Bacon), has been rejected by most colleges because of low grades as a result of focusing on working over studying and is working as a glorified babysitter for a child actress who has issues with her Stage Mom.

Other members of the cast include Griffin's parents (Ed Quinn and Gabrielle Anwar) and Mason Riley (Norman Johnson, Jr.), a popular skateboarder who connects otherwise unrelated characters of the story.


  • Amicable Exes: Erin and Alec want to be this and even make a pact to stay as friends after their breakup. But then Erin sees a photo of Paige kissing Alec and is hurt that he apparently moved on from her so quick, hence why she practically jumps at the idea of dating Ricky.
  • Bait-and-Switch: After the film shows three relationships going down the drain (Griffin and Phoebe, Erin and Ricky, Alec and Paige) one after another, we cut to Chad and Claire at the bar. Chad confesses being a high school student and lying to Claire about being a stockbroker and she seems to back away in disgust. Only for her to reveal that she is fine with that, because she knew it all along and was waiting for him to finally tell the truth.
  • Big-Breast Pride: Paige says her family offered her a car or breast plant surgery as a graduation present and she picked the car due to thinking the breasts she has are already big enough.
  • Boarding School: As seen in the beginning, Griffin is a prep school graduate who is returning back home for a few months before departing again for college.
  • Brainless Beauty: Paige gradually comes across as one, complaining about how everyone else is working instead of having fun, and wanting to just get a reality show instead of a job while not getting Alec's attempts to explain that normally fame is required for a reality show.
  • Burger Fool: Chad and Reece work at a yogurt store and often get insulted by customers.
  • Description Cut: Chad says to Reece that he believes the postgraduation party they weren't invited to is lame. Cut to everyone at the party having the time of their lives.
  • Distracted by the Sexy: Foster paints over a sidewalk while staining a driveway while watching Paige in a bikini putting on sun screen.
  • Does He Have a Brother?: Foster hopefully asks if Paige has a sister when she starts dating his friend Alec.
  • Everybody Knew Already: When Chad eventually confesses that he's a high school graduate and not a trader to his girlfriend (a 23 or so year-old advertising agent), turns out she and her friend (whose dating Reece) have known the whole time because Chad's wallet (with his real age) was open for them to see when they first met.
  • Fantasy-Forbidding Father: Griffin's dad wants him to go to Columbia when he wants to study music at Berkley.
  • Friend to All Children: Audrey quickly befriends Lilah and becomes an English teacher for foreign children at the end.
  • Hyperlink Story: Most of the characters are only tangentially connected, although a few scenes show them together. Erin is friends with Audrey, while her ex Alec is friends with Foster. Alec knows about Mason, who is friends with Griffin. Only Chad and Reece have no apparent relationship with the others.
  • Kick the Dog: Griffin's father telling him that his relationship with Phoebe's mother "didn't mean anything". Earlier, Phoebe told Griffin that she was glad because her mother finally found a guy who cared for her.
  • Long-Distance Relationship:
    • Erin and Alec broke up explicitly to avoid this trope, because she is staying in Illinois while he is going to Oregon. At the end, they reconcile, playing this trope straight.
    • Ricky had a longtime relationship with a girl back in Texas, but broke up with her when he joined the Chicago Cubs. However, he is rekindling their relationship behind Erin's back.
    • At the end of the film, Griffin decides to go to Berklee, which is in Boston, in conjuction with him reconciling with Phoebe, who is going to NYU. They joke that their relationship will only last three weeks on account of LDR.
  • Lovable Jock: Ricky at first, making a nice gesture to Erin after spilling a drink on her dress when he dives into the stands to catch a ball, doesn't party hard, is nice to his fans, feels overawed about how he got accepted to a major league team, drives an old truck, and charms Erin on a date. Downplayed, if not subverted though with the reveal that he's cheating on Erin.
  • Married to the Job: Audrey is a high school version. She prioritizes part-time work over everything, including school, and has little time for love (though she mentions having an ex-boyfriend). At the end, she decides not to attend college and instead joins Teachers Without Borders, as working with children has become her passion.
  • Mock Millionaire: Chad and Reece are mistaken for commodities traders when they go to a bar wearing their suits from a wedding rehearsal dinner and mingle there, enjoying the respect.
  • Mrs. Robinson: Foster's story ends with him being invited to the house of an older but attractive divorcee who has been watching him all week, presumably to sleep with her.
  • Naked People Are Funny: Foster recalls one girl he went after, Brenda Boner, actually was willing to have sex but as they stepped down her dad came home so they had to sit on a couch under a blanket for a long time to prevent him from noticing they were bottomless with Brenda's dad sitting next to them to watch TV until he fell asleep.
  • Nepotism: Griffin's conversation with his dad implies that he got into Columbia because the latter used his connections with a friend there, in addition to money.
  • New Old Flame: Griffin and Phoebe were friends during middle school, but became estranged after the former went to prep school. However, he has been nursing feelings for her since back then, only managing to act them out now.
  • Pet the Dog: Lilah's mother giving Erin and Audrey baseball tickets.
  • Poor Communication Kills: Griffin doesn't have the courage to tell Phoebe that his father is cheating with her mother. When she eventually finds out, she is so hurt that she breaks up with him.
  • The Reveal: The woman Griffin's father cheats with is Phoebe's mother.
  • Riddle for the Ages: Who posted Foster's list of girls he wants to score with on social media and how did that person knew about the list?
  • Romantic False Lead: Ricky. Out of all of the couples' relationship, the one he has with Erin seems to be the only secret-free one...only for Erin to find out that he has been cheating on her with his ex-girlfriend.
  • Scholarship Student: Phoebe cannot afford to go to NYU and has to gamble on the film project she is shooting to get scholarship.
  • Silly Rabbit, Romance Is for Kids!: Audrey seems to believe in this. Although she mention having an ex-boyfriend, she is too busy doing her various part-time jobs to care much for anything else, and is somewhat annoyed at Erin's and Alec's UST. She is also the only teenage character who has no romantic subplot in the film.
  • Spoiled Sweet: Lilah is a child actress who grew up in a big home, but she is very friendly to Audrey, a nanny sent to babysit her.
  • Stage Mom: Audrey does a lot of work for a former actress who is pushing her daughter Lilah to go to auditions and such which she doesn't want to. The mom has a house that's a Shrine to Self and obsesses over appearing in Sixteen Candles even though it was merely for a couple seconds in a background role.
  • Those Two Guys: Chad and Reece share their scenes and subplot, which is the most humorous one in the story.
  • Unexpected Virgin: Foster. Part of the reason he's made a list of girls he wants to seduce is to make up for lost time because he never got to have sex in High School.
  • Uptown Girl: Gender Flipped with Griffin, who got into Columbia because of his family's money and likes Phoebe, who came from a working class family and has to apply for a film competition to earn scholarship for NYU.
  • Wise Beyond Their Years: Two cases, possibly combined with Troubling Unchildlike Behavior, Played for Laughs.
    • Griffin's little sister, Sierra, (about ten) reads social media posts about the wild teen parties and knows someone nearly choked on a beer bong about one. She also charges baby-sitting money to make sure her brother doesn't do anything when their parents are left alone.
    • The younger brother of Christine Purdy (about the same age as Sierra) can tell that Foster is trying to seduce his sister (a virgin and a Christian) and tells him "man" to man that it won't work, as she doesn't even kiss.
  • You, Get Me Coffee: Erin works as a PA who fetches coffee orders at an office and doesn't seem to like it. She says it's only for her college resume.