Eight-year-old Catholic Pete O’Malley (Adi Stein) takes to heart the nun’s warning he must “choose the devil or choose Jesus.” That remark sends young Pete on a quest to redeem himself by “saving” the Jews in the neighborhood synagogue. Rabbi Jacobsen (Kevin Pollack) befriends Pete and even allows him to give away lemonade on the temple steps as a way to win Jews over to Christianity. Soon Pete meets the rabbi’s son, Danny (Mike Weinberg), who is fighting leukemia and wanting to be sure he is going to heaven. Pete’s Irish Catholic parents (Aidan Quinn and Bonnie Hunt) and the Jewish Jacobsens find themselves in the center of an awkward religious dilemma. But Danny and Pete devise their own plan to assure a place in heaven. STOLEN SUMMER will steal your heart.
The question, “. . .and what does the Lord require of you but to do justice, and to love kindness, and to walk humbly with your God?”, from Micah 6:8 or even John 3:16, might have helped Pete in his quest to save Danny’s soul. But 8-year-old Pete’s misguided, heartfelt tests, designed for his frail friend to prove his worthiness, and Danny’s determination to pass the tests would, no doubt, put a smile on God’s face. The O’Malley’s are a loving family but Dad’s Irish temper and beer drinking trigger arguments with Patrick (Eddie Kaye Thomas), his teenage son. Mom is the no-nonsense referee, who smacks her kids on the mouth when they say bad words and supports Patrick’s dream of becoming a doctor. The PG rating reflects the use of two strong profanities which negate Dove’s approval, a few mild obscenities and crudities; however there are no f- or s-words spoken. The good news about STOLEN SUMMER is that, ultimately, the boys embody the message of Micah 6:8 without even knowing it.