Sunday, August 14, 2005

My Summer of Love

It bugs me that I can’t remember where I first met the plot of "My Summer of Love". It is the standard romantic plot about love between two people from different "worlds", where one character’s "world" is more powerful than the other. This time the setting is modern rural UK and the characters are two teenage girls, say fifteen or sixteen. Both girls come from unusual backgrounds and are alone for the summer. Mona’s parents are dead and she is living in a non-functional pub with her big brother. Tasmin’s parents are effectively absent and her house is miles (literally and figuratively) from its neighbours.

Tasmin is bored and Mona is frustrated. Starting with an accidental meeting, both see each other as a way out, a release. Curiosity leads to play leads to love. As is traditional with passionate infatuation stories the pace is languid, as is darkhaired Tasmin. On the other hand the freckled, red-head Mona (and her brother) are restless, tortured characters repressing a tendency to flash into violence.

Tasmin shows Mona how to see adults as toys to be played with, or at least teased and tormented. Mona’s born again Christian, ex-criminal brother and his Pentecostal congregation, looking and sounding like escapees from "Last of the Summer Wine" but carrying on like a caricature of American TV evangelists with Yorkshire accents seem like an absurdist joke, and provide an unusual backdrop for the action.

The film interplays the power of imagination and irresponsibility of childhood and the possibilities of almost adulthood with the powerlessness of being a child. The passions of first love and the usual clash of "cultures". The story moves into its last act predictably enough, but then throws in a couple of final twists of the knife.

The plot may not be original, but it is well acted by two girls who are more than just eye-candy and beautifully shot in an sunny British countryside that surely only exists in films, novels and tourist brochures. This is a good date movie or possibly girl’s night out movie, though it is not high brow enough to be a "chick-lit" film.

Ian’s rating 4/5
Anne’s rating 3/5

1 comment:

  1. Tasmin? Or perhaps Tamsin...

    Not highbrow enough for 'chick-lit' definitely needs explaining. Chick-lit is the most lowbrow lit I can think of (which isn't a criticism).