“Apparently, I’m a bad influence on people.”
Amidst the lush Yorkshire countryside, two young women meet and experience an intense attraction but can their budding love from one another survive the Summer?
The thing that strikes me about My Summer of Love is the film’s richness despite a rather sparse, efficient story … oh, and the part about Emily Blunt falling in love with another woman. I mean, come on … Emily Blunt? Swoon.
I adore Emily Blunt.
My Summer of Love was my introduction to Blunt’s work – it released the day before my birthday in 2004 – and I’ve been a fan since, and for good reason. Blunt’s performance in My Summer of Love is vulnerable and sexy, with a touch of the crazy. It’s intimate and deep, truly a glimpse at what talent the actress would bring to future performances. As an aside, Blunt is actually a competent cellist – she received a credit for her performance of “The Swan” by Camille Saint-Saëns in the film.
The relationship between the story’s main characters, Tamsin (Blunt) and Mona (Press), is an all consuming friendship that begins as a way for the two young women to pass the long Summer days. Soon enough, Tamsin and Mona are spending as much time together as possible. Whether bored or truly lusting after one another, the women embark on an affair, each swearing they would rather die than live without the other.
In many ways, My Summer of Love may remind you of your own sweet, youthful flings. It does me. This creates within me a sort of fictional nostalgia for the story. Thankfully, however, the imagined dramas created by Tamsin and Mona bear little resemblance to anything in my past. Given the fate of their relationship, I hope you can say the same.
If you can’t – OUCH! – and apologies for reminding you. I’m sending you hugs, kisses, and my sincerest regrets.
There is a timelessness and sensuality to the film’s setting – both in relationship to the time of year and to the environment, especially with the characters’ connection with the outdoors. The chemistry between the leads is always a bit tentative, which helps Pawlikowski construct a very attractive and yet somehow terrifying house of cards in which he invites his characters to set up house.
Everything about My Summer of Love is meant to illicit consideration, even the director’s unapologetic refusal to tell you more than you absolutely need to know about the characters. Never for a moment will the director let you forget that the flip side of love is not hate but apathy. There is a lurking sense of menace behind every smile, every look.
Ah. The brutality of young love.
Featuring a moody, sensual soundtrack written by Alison Goldfrapp and Will Gregory, My Summer of Love is not your typical coming of age story. There are some lulls in the story’s pacing and some it’s-been-done preachiness that I could live without, but My Summer of Love definitely deserves the lion’s share of the critical acclaim it’s garnered over the years.
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Buy the lush soundtrack to My Summer of Love featuring music by Goldfrapp