A group of campers comes back to their beloved Camp Tamakwa for a summer reunion at the invitation of the owner, "Uncle" Lou Handler (Alan Arkin). Though many were invited, only eight show up: Jamie Ross (Matt Craven), Beth Warden (Diane Lane), Jack Belston (Bill Paxton), Jennifer Morton (Elizabeth Perkins), Brad Berman (Kevin Pollack), Matthew Berman (Vincent Spano), and Kelly Berman (Jennifer Warner) and Ross' young girlfriend Gwen Daugherty (Kimberly Williams). At dinner, Lou reveals to the group that he intends to sell the camp and retire. He's old and just can't relate to kids the way he used to. The former campers who come for the week all have problems of their own. Some of them are involved in relationships with each other while others wish they were involved in a relationship with each other. Yet, none of them can believe Camp Tamakwa will be no more. Lou runs the former campers through the daily camp rituals and the group begins to bond. For a few brief moments they feel like they are really kids again. They learn, as do so many who attend summer camp, that though summer camp might not be Heaven on Earth, it can give you taste of Heaven and you'll never be the same.
The acting in the movie is solid and though the script is lightly wrapped in sentimentality, it's well written. This is an ensemble picture and often what happens in an ensemble piece is that one or two performers stand out above the rest and one or two aren't as good as the rest. That's not the case in INDIAN SUMMER. The ensemble meshes well and everyone has their own little moments to shine. You really get the sense that these adults were once childhood friends at camp.
The movie also features Sam Raimi (director of the SPIDER-MAN movies) in a small role as Stick Coder, the camp's resident handyman. Raimi has had huge success as a director, but people often forget he's a great comedic character actor.
Personally, I have mixed feelings about INDIAN SUMMER. Watching the movie made me think back to my own experiences at summer camps both as a youth and as an adult working at camps. The movie is well developed and there are some really poignant moments. Yet, the movie is forgettable; I felt good while watching it, but once the movie stopped, that was it. The best films do things to us long after the final credits role, whether starting a discussion, causing one to reflect, provoke a person to take action, etc. To me INDIAN SUMMER was just a movie and nothing more. That's really a shame because it has so much going for it. Of course, that's also what makes it attractable to a larger audience.
Overall, INDIAN SUMMER is a well-executed movie with a talented ensemble cast that meshes extremely well together. However, beyond a few feelings of nostalgia, it didn't move me in any way. It's a movie that like Indian Summer itself, provides a few brief moments of warmth in early fall and then is gone.
The DVD doesn't include any special features, not even a trailer.