"My Summer of Love"
Directed by Pawel Pawlikowsky.
Written by Pawel Pawlikowsky and Michael Wynne. Based on
the novel by Helen Cross.
Starring Natalie Press, Emily Blunt and Paddy Considine.
Release Year: 2004
Review Date: 6/24/05
I've been trying to take in more exports
lately, and the pub on "My Summer of Love"--winner of the British
form of the Oscars for Best Domestic Film--was strong, so I figured,
"Hey, it's won some awards, it's got Paddy Considine [the dad from
and it's a lesbian drama...I'll hang out!"
After seeing the flick with the Jellybean,
his wife Colleen and "Mr." Stokes last night, I have to say that
while "My Summer of Love" offers some great moments and does create
a very surreal, dreamy atmosphere, it ultimately gets its love story
going too slowly and ends without the kind of punch I was hoping
Mona (Natalie Press) returns to her small
hometown where her brother Phil (Considine), an ex-con that has
found God in leaving the joint, has turned their pub/apartment into
a religious sanctuary. Immediately looking for an alternative
to hang with, she meets Tamsin (Emily Blunt), a woman home for the
summer from school and someone else eager to have a playbuddy for
her two months on holiday. The women spend an inordinate
amount of time together, and when one thing leads to another...you
can smell trouble a mile away!
I liked both the Mona and Tamsin characters;
they make for a cool twosome, with the dark edges of Tamsin clearly
turning Mona into a more devilish type as the film wears
on...although I did like the way the characters are interchangeable
as the more dominant personality, as opposed to having Mona always
be the suck-up to Tamsin. The dialogue is sparse but is
occasionally hilarious; I especially loved the references to
"The Exorcist" that
pop up in the film's second half, and some of the religious group
scenes reminded me of the best parts of
"Saved!", the Mandy
Moore religious comedy from a couple years ago. Considine is
great--playing his newfound savior well with the crackling
undercurrent of the violence of a man that is just about to
rediscover his past.
But, we all agreed afterwards that the film
is slow-going early, and Jellybean also added that the idea by
director Pawel Pawlikowski to start the film with a scene from the
middle--as opposed to the end--didn't make much sense or add
anything to the overall product. The film is too quiet at
times--I think it was Gordon who said "I've never been so aware of
the sound of gravel"--and with a single song that plays
intermittently throughout the film, it gives you a bit of that
Shut" effect of having a spooky chorus but things aren't all
that spooky! And, the ending of "My Summer of Love"...well,
let's just say that I was disappointed. You have to see the
film to know what I mean and I won't blow it for you here.
Overall, a good movie, but not great.
Due to its length (about 85 minutes), you'll feel good about this if
you drop $6 on it. Otherwise, wait for video.
Comments? Drop me a line at
Bellview Rating System:
"Opening Weekend": This is
the highest rating a movie can receive. Reserved for movies that
exhibit the highest level of acting, plot, character development,
setting...or Salma Hayek. Not necessarily in that order.
"$X.XX Show": This price
changes each year due to the inflation of movie prices; currently,
it is the $9.50 Show. While not technically perfect, this is a
movie that will still entertain you at a very high level.
"Undercover Brother" falls into this category; it's no "Casablanca",
but you'll have a great time watching. The $9.50 Show won't win any
Oscars, but you'll be quoting lines from the thing for ages (see
"Matinee": An average movie
that merits no more than a $6.50 viewing at your local theater.
Seeing it for less than $9.50 will make you feel a lot better about
yourself. A movie like "Blue Crush" fits this category; you leave
the theater saying "That wasn't too bad...man, did you see that
Lakers game last night?"
"Rental": This rating
indicates a movie that you see in the previews and say to your
friend, "I'll be sure to miss that one." Mostly forgettable, you
couldn't lose too much by going to Hollywood Video and paying $3 to
watch it with your sig other, but you would only do that if the
video store was out of copies of "Ronin." If you can, see this
movie for free. This is what your TV Guide would give "one and a
"Hard Vice": This rating is
the bottom of the barrel. A movie that only six other human beings
have witnessed, this is the worst movie I have ever seen. A Shannon
Tweed "thriller," it is so bad as to be funny during almost every
one of its 84 minutes, and includes the worst ending ever put into a
movie. Marginally worse than "Cabin Boy", "The Avengers" or
"Leonard, Part 6", this rating means that you should avoid this
movie at all costs, or no costs, EVEN IF YOU CAN SEE IT FOR FREE!
(Warning: strong profanity will be used in all reviews of "Hard