My Summer of Love (2004) Poster

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it captures a certain something
Fiona-3919 November 2004
I really enjoyed this film. I especially liked the langour of its pacing (helped by a wonderful soundtrack), certainly at the start where we simply observe the girls hanging out together drinking copious amounts of red wine and smoking constantly. Something about the timelessness, the heaviness of the heat, the bird song and buzzing insects caught perfectly that summer after 'A' levels where there is nothing to do but simply live, spend time with friends, and fantasies can take on a larger and more defined shape than realities. The 'lesbian' angle was handled deftly - though as another user commented, it would be good to see a film which manages to trace the intensity of female adolescent friendships without having them be sexual in nature - but this is a very special time, and the film caught that beautifully. The poignancy of Mona's existence was undersold as well, which gave it a greater power - she is the one who has truly suffered loss, whereas Tamsin... well, you have to make up your own mind about that. A minor film, but hits its notes perfectly.
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10/10
Short and sweet with a brutal ending
eallison924 June 2005
Warning: Spoilers
I just saw this movie today and I must say it is quite affecting, although the ending is sort of like an alarm clock jolting you awake from a nice dream. The most obvious antecedent for this movie I can think of is Peter Jackson's Heavenly Creatures. Both involve a violently consuming relationship between two beautiful young girls. The movie is, to me sort of like a confrontation of opposites, there's the rich, jaded girl (Tasmin) and the naive, innocent one (Mona). Tasmin represents the experienced girl who sees life as a canvas to act out her fantasies in, while Mona seems to live life more directly and literally. This creates the tension between the two and leads to the dramatic ending, which seems somewhat abrupt considering the "magical realism" of the rest of the movie. I highly recommend this movie, it is one that immerses you completely if you allow it to. The acting is exceptional, especially the leads, so natural that it doesn't seem like acting at all.
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8/10
Intriguing surprise
antoniotierno23 June 2005
First of all, the young leads Nathalie Press and Emily Blunt acted superbly; these newcomers are really stunning for the way they movingly played this character drama, showing every sort of emotion a human being may feel. "My summer of love" is not only a lesbian love affair between two needy and sexy teens, set in a beautiful countryside, but it's also a thoughtful portrayal of friendship, deception and obsession. In spite of a story starting as an erotic drama it finally turns into a suspenseful and powerful situation. Last but not least Paddy Considine is also up to the film brightness, rendering a man whose redemption seems to slowly fade.
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9/10
Bitter Sweet
TVGoHome12324 January 2006
In this day and age it would appear that films that are British made now need a certain Hollywood endorsement or require to be set in chic surroundings in order for it to be considered a triumph. One wet, dreary Glasgow's summer night I stumbled upon this in the video shop and having heard much about I chanced my luck and got it out. On previous occasions I had the opportunity but the subject matter I had found to be off putting. This film is an art-house masterpiece displaying an unusual relationship between a working class girl living in a dull rural town and an upper class private school girl. The film is capturing as you watch their relationship develop towards an ending which is perfectly summed up as bitter sweet. The lead performances are excellent and Paddy Considine is outstanding as the reformed alcoholic turned Christian. This film deserves to be seen by many and warrants much of the praise it gained. Also it gave new hope to many who felt that Britain's days as a great country to make films were over. Rating: Simply excellent
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10/10
Very sincere movie, with high artistic achievements
Lozan Temelkov12 March 2005
My Summer of Love is a brave, sincere film, which gives us, cinema-lovers, the hope that cinema is not dead and is not only a money-making entertainment machine whatever the cost. It looks hard into life of today, but this look is not to frighten, to scare, to scandalize - I'd call it poetic realism, in the best traditions of cinema, when its great masters were not afraid to experiment, but only strive for true presentation of their idea and of their characters. It is also a film about love, because it is done with so much love for people who follow their heart, and who value their openness and freedom of expressing themselves. Highly artistic work of it's author Pavel Pavlikovski, and also of actress Natalie Press, whom I was happy to see at the Sofia Film Fest, at the Bulgarian premiere of the film on 11 March 05.
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Two young girls from different backgrounds meet and fall in love - as adolescents do.
Alan Seifert29 October 2004
This is a charming film. A pretty simple story of two slightly dysfunctional girls who meet by chance and become drawn to each other, who fall in love through the summer vacation, who have fun together and then, inevitably, part, is brought totally to life by the charismatic performances of the two young leads. The film looks gorgeous, shot in the beautiful Yorkshire moors, and the direction is sharp. This film is a near perfect rendition of an oft told tale of growing pains and confused adolescent feelings and is so delightfully rendered as to make any further comment superfluous. To see it is to love it! Go see.
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8/10
A Very Good Drama About People
Dan1863Sickles3 March 2006
I saw this movie in Albany, NY USA and I thought it was great. I admit, I went because the two young girls were super hot and lesbians are always sexy. But watching it, I really got to like the people in the story. It's not really a sexy movie, but it's a very good drama about people.

Mona, the working class girl, is so sexy and yet so vulnerable. She has no idea she's a beauty, or that she's stronger and more creative than the people around her. She thinks that being sophisticated means smoking and drinking and acting bored all the time. So when she meets Tamsin she is instantly captivated!

Tamsin is spoiled and rich, used to being adored. When the rough, but very sexy young working girl looks up at her with innocent admiration, cruel and shallow Tamsin thinks it might be amusing just to get her going for a bit. But pleasure soon leads to passion, out of control.

Both girls in this movie are superb, wonderful actresses. Mona could seem dim, but we get how smart she could be if she just woke up to the phony side of Tamsin. Tamsin could seem evil, but we get how lies and make believe are the only way she can get attention.

It's a lovely film, with only a couple of tiny flaws. I thought it was too easy for Mona's "boyfriend" to be just a selfish, fat lout. It's the kind of thing you always see in lesbian films, like the girl needs an "excuse" to find love with another woman. Why need an excuse? Also, I would have liked just a bit more on Tamsin's family -- do they know what she really is? Do they care? Just a hint or something at the end.

My theory about why American audiences didn't like this movie is about culture, but not just that Americans are dumb. Americans, when they watch "British" movies, expect to see dukes and duchesses, aristocrats, Jane Austen elegance. Just a couple of teens smoking and drinking doesn't look "British" to us.

You can't say Americans don't "like" British movies, but if you look at GOSFORD PARK and compare it to MY SUMMER OF LOVE you can see what I mean. I hated GOSFORD PARK, thought it was paper thin and sentimental, but it gave Americans the England they want -- aristocrats, servants, luxury, scandal.

See what I mean?
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10/10
You do not have to be Lesbian to enjoy this Film!
Samuel Cohen21 May 2005
I enjoyed this film as it asks questions about life, Society and Religion in an unconventional Way. Mona and Tam fall in love one summer.

Press plays Mona, bored to tears with life in provincial Yorkshire, and especially bored with her brother Phil (Paddy Considine) who is a reformed violent criminal and born-again Christian now righteously pouring away the stocks of booze in the pub owned by their late parents, and re-purposing this place of sin as a prayer center. Then she meets Tamsin (Emily Blunt), a kindred spirit despite being outrageously posh, who's rusticated from her private girls' school, and whose neglectful parents let her have the run of their magnificent Tudor family home. Mona explains that her name is actually Lisa, but her habit of complaining got her the nickname "Moaner" Lisa, from her brother, back in the days when he had a sense of humor. Tamsin's enigmatic response is simply to drawl: "I've studied the original." But as I said you do not have to be Lesbian to enjoy this wonderful film. Many people go through life asking themselves who they are? Where do they live and what do they believe in.
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8/10
No cliché
paul2001sw-110 November 2004
Pavel Pavlikovski directed the bleak, austere 'Last Resort', and was sacked from 'Sylvia' on grounds of having an insufficiently commercial sensitivity.

Now he had made 'My Summer of Love', a nicely observed tale of a teenage lesbian romance. As in 'Last Resort', Russian-born Pavlikovski paints an enticingly skewed picture of Britain that rings true in spite of its aberrence; and gets good performances out of his cast, especially Paddy Considine as the brother of one of the girls, who could certainly have used more screen-time, though his co-stars Nathalie Press and Emily Blunt are also good. The film steers clear of cliché, and has some dryly funny dialogue, but what it lacks is a sense of time as a continuum: it feels like a semi-random sampling of its characters' lives, and although there is a clear plot it's hidden in the background, apparent only later. In some ways, this is also true to life, but it also means that the film remains low-key right up to the moment of its suddenly dramatic conclusion. Pavlikovski also seems surprisingly keen on static location shots (before we see the characters inside of a house, we always see the house from outside),

which jars slightly given the film's general artistic merits. Distinctive, and well-worth watching, 'My Summer of Love' isn't quite a great film; but it is an interesting effort from a director committed to representing life in the ways that Hollywood never does.
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8/10
Class distinction
jotix10025 June 2005
Warning: Spoilers
One of the things playing under the surface of "My Summer of Love" is the disparity in class and privilege between Mona and Tamsin. When we first meet them, Tamsin tells Mona she has been expelled from school. As a rich girl bored and with nothing to do, Tamsin accepts Mona as a pretty object, but we know from the beginning nothing is going to come about their love for one another. Rather, it appears that love is what Mona feels for the rich girl, not the other way around.

Paul Pavlikowsky's take on the Helen Cross' novel makes for an interesting film that on the surface seems to be an idyllic love between two teen age girls, when in reality no one seems to see the cruelty that Tamsin exerts in the more naive Mona. Tamsin lies about a sister without no shame; that same sister appears at the last moment in the film to ask Mona to return what she perceives as a stolen blouse, humiliating Mona even more. After all, Tamsin is going back to yet another school for rich girls while Mona has to stay in the small village with a broken heart that will not heal. Tamsin, in retrospect is a cool and calculating young woman who has no scruples or much less feels remorse for leading Mona to believe they will stay together forever.

The third main character of the story is the enigmatic Phil, Mona's brother. He does a complete change by joining an evangelical sect and he has left the pub go out of business. Phil is another troubled soul that has no problem at the end renouncing his ties to the religious group that has taken over his pub, and his life. While Phil seems to care for his sister Mona, he is a distant man, in spite of his newly found religiosity. Where he should have been kind and loving, he grows distant and into himself.

The three main characters in "My Summer of Love" are well drawn. Natalie Press gives a fine account of Mona, the more naive of the two girls. She is an unsophisticated girl who has no social graces and is completely dazzled by the more savvy Tamsin. Emily Blunt, a beautiful young actress is perfect as Tamsin, a manipulator, who will have Mona believe that she truly cares for her, when in reality, she is only amusing herself while confined to the summer house in the country. Paddy Considine does a good job as the sullen Phil, the man who finds religion and then abandons it.

The film, under the fine direction of Mr. Pavlikowsky needs the viewer's attention to see the nuances under the story unfolding in front us.
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