There’s not so much high drama as a collision of dispositions in Stephen Cone’s most recent film. Set over the course of one hot Chicago summer, the laidback Princess Cyd follows teenager Cydney’s (Jessie Pinnick) extended visit with her novelist aunt (Rebecca Spence). While Cyd is sporty, outgoing and prone to sticking her foot in her mouth, her aunt Miranda is a calmer, more introspective personality; happiest discussing literature with her close circle of friends. Princess Cyd plays as contented and laidback on the surface, but finds depth as it holds back to observe the pair’s gentle disagreements about sex, spirituality and the best way to spend a day.
We watch as Cyd has a brief dalliance with a boy from up the road, before moving on to a more forceful romantic coming together with Katie, a mohawked local barista. Meanwhile she prods her Miranda – who admits to abstaining from sex for the previous five years – to do something about the fizzy chemistry observable whenever her aunt’s old writer friend Anthony is in the room. Like the best summer hangouts, Princess Cyd is lovely in the moment, but Cone’s warm, empathic filmmaking generates a pleasant glow which remains after the credits roll.