Prime Video kept putting July Rising in my face, telling me I’d like it. So, okay, I watched. It looked like an inspiring story about a plucky teen who overcomes the odds. There are spoilers ahead.
July Rising isn’t about a plucky teen who overcomes the odds. It isn’t inspiring or aspirational. Nope. It’s about the odds defeating the plucky teen. If you want a look at the harsh realities of capitalism, this is that movie.
Andy (Alexa Yeames) lived with her grandpa. He had a lush pear orchard with a perfect harvest almost ready to be picked. The farm was falling apart, the equipment oft fixed, but the crop was good and there was hope.
Then grandpa died. Andy was a senior in high school. She had an aunt, Linda (Johanna Putnam), in San Francisco who became her guardian. Except Andy didn’t want to live with her aunt. She wanted to stay on the farm and tend the orchards.
That’s when Andy and Linda began to realize how in debt the farm was. The bank was not willing to advance money to a teenager to get her through the harvest. In fact, they wanted to take the farm and turn it into a housing development.
Andy worked hard, sold all her furniture and some of her equipment. She made enough to hire pickers and bring in the harvest. But the bank wouldn’t wait. I think the moral of this story was meant to be that teenage girls need to grow up and face the facts as laid out for them by men with money.
I did not like that conclusion to the story of Andy’s struggles. Every movie doesn’t have to have a happy ending, but I sure wanted this one to.
A lot of information about Andy and her aunt Linda was overlooked, too. Linda was a chef and not married or interested in dating. Andy’s next door neighbor Ryan (Michael Ridley) kept coming around looking lovelorn, but Andy wasn’t interested. There could have been some story there.
I should say something good, too. The film isn’t entirely negative, only the ending. The cinematography was excellent and the views of the orchard were beautiful.
If you watch this one, I’d love to hear what you thought of it, especially the ending.