The problem at Black Beacon Sound is that the kids have their heads on straight and the adults do not. As with many summer camp films, the protagonists are children who usually have to overcome some kind of obstacle perpetuated by overbearing camp counselors. This works well with the family melodrama tropes that deal with mending broken families. Sam must fill a void left by his parents while Suzy yearns to find a connection with her family. Seeking out each other in order to satisfy these needs is not an easy task because they are constantly being pursued. Engaging in hijinks with fear of being caught is a common trope in summer camp films. Moonrise Kingdom carries these elements but uses the runaway children to signify much bigger problems than defying grown-ups. Sam and Suzy search for something pure — a true connection.
Watching the traile, Moonrise Kingdom may look like a throwback to summer camp films of the 1990s. If anything, though, Anderson’s new offering more resembles The Graduate (though I won’t provide spoilers as to why). Of course, instead of adults this love story is about children. Intelligence is inverted in this film, which is common in the summer camp genre. The kids have love figured out while the adults do not.