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Upcoming Summer 2021 Movie Review Poster Trailer Online
“I’ll tell you a secret, and you tell me one, too,” Chen Chen (Zhang Zifeng) says to Zheng Yuxing (Wu Leo). “Isn’t that how coming-of-age movies go?” And Zheng responds with a sardonic grin. “I hate coming-of-age movies.” And with that, the meet-cute between these two fresh-faced high school seniors becomes something much more official than the sham relationship it was supposed to be. In Upcoming Summer, Chen Chen bombs out on her college entrance exam, and tells her parents (Halo Lei, Liu Xiachai) it was because of a bad breakup with Zheng Yuxing, her fellow student and a budding DJ and Internet celebrity who posts to TikTok as DJ XYZ. He’s just a scapegoat, though — Chen really blew the exam because she discovered her parents were hiding their impending divorce from her so it wouldn’t interfere with the test.
With the prodding of her mom and a meddlesome teacher named Ms. Qu (Liu Dan), Chen Chen and Zheng Yuxing are forced to go public with the relationship that was never actually real. Chen, of course, would’ve been content to silently pine for him, and listlessly troll his mentions. And Zheng is in an on-again, off-again long distance relationship with a DJ, Ming, who lives in Beijing. But as these two spend more and more time together, they establish an easy rapport, and bond over the confusion they each feel about their parents, Chen Chen’s with their marital woe and Zheng’s successful but cold and overbearing father. And before they can say “not another teen movie,” Chen Chen and Zheng Yuxing are an official/non-official item, and smiling through montages set to “Something Just Like This” by The Chainsmokers & Coldplay.
Ultimately, Chen Chen and Zheng Yuxing make the rash decision to make an escape, and fly to Sanya on the coast to catch Ming’s set at Upcoming, a summer electronic music festival. Zheng says he wants to confront her, and Chen says she’s his moral support, but as the laser beams flicker across the sky, and the electronic beats crest before the crowd surges toward the drop, they know they’ve found that moment of young love. Their parents don’t see it that way, though, and neither does that meddlesome Ms. Qu.
Lighter than a mooncake and full of the stuff that’s fueled tales of teens in love for ages now, Upcoming Summer strikes a nice balance between self-awareness and cutesy burgeoning romance. Even though they’ve found themselves an item despite themselves, railroaded into dating by grownups, you find yourself rooting for Chen Chen and Zheng Yuxing to get together for real since they’re so darn cute together. When an after-school study session becomes an opportunity for Zheng to show off his DJ gear and skill as a guitar player to the shy, curious Chen Chen, the pair are singing a song about lotus flowers and hugs until a stern glare from Zheng’s dad kills the moment. But what might’ve been pretty soon becomes what’s meant to be as they stare into each other’s eyes at a rate of 128bpm, and it’s another chance for Upcoming Summer to scratch that familiar teen rom com itch.