Warning: There are major SPOILERS ahead for Hot Summer Nights. So plase don’t read ahead if you haven’t seen Timothee Chalamet and Alex Roe play burgeoning drug dealers in 1991 Cape Cod.
Right at the start of “Hot Summer Nights” it is revealed that the drama-comedy is based on real events.
What subsequently unfolds is rather brutal, too, as Timothee Chalamet’s Daniel Middleton and Alex Roe’s Hunter Strawberry start dealing a copious amount of weed across Cape Cod in the scorching summer of 1991. But, they eventually get in way over their heads, as they link up with Emory Choen’s Dex, another local dealer, and then William Fichtner’s Shep.
Things quickly become very dangerous for the outrageous “Hot Summer Nights’” leading two characters. So much so that throughout the film I couldn’t help but wonder just how truthful its plot actually was, and how much its writer and director Elijah Bynum actually based on real events.
Luckily, I recently had the chance to ask that very question to Maika Monroe, who plays McKayla Strawberry, Daniel’s love interest and the sister to Hunter in “Hot Summer Nights.”
“At Elijah’s college there were two kids that were selling weed, and kind of everything exploded in their
face. They disappeared, and to this day Elijah still hasn’t heard from them, doesn’t know where they are, no-one does.”
“So he just thought it was a fascinating story. With movies everything is usually just wrapped up and is ok and everything is happy every after. But Elijah liked this idea of finishing the story but not really finishing it. Because where these characters end up you don’t really know.”
But while Timothee and Alex portrayed individuals that were based on “real-life characters that he knew,” Maika’s McKayla was actually created by Elijah. It is safe to assume that Bynum probably used a lot more artistic license when molding his visual arresting debut as a writer and director.
Because “Hot Summer Nights,” which is now in cinemas, is just too dreamlike and beautiful to all be real.