Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Review- My Summer of Love (DVD)

My Summer of Love (DVD)
Contemporary/ f/f/ Drama

In the Yorkshire countryside, working-class tomboy Mona (Press) meets the exotic, pampered Tamsin (Blunt). Over the summer season, the two young women discover they have much to teach one another, and much to explore together.

Life is so cosmic sometimes. Last Dec. during my school break, I ordered some DVDs from the library and thought I had gotten them all. Well, I just finished my last quarter of school and there was an email in my box that a film I had on hold came in. What? But just in time for me to have something to watch as I take a few days before I start booking it on job hunting.

Anyway… this was a strange and intriguing film. Certainly not the usual fare in coming of age stories. Set in a quiet and small village in Yorksire, there’s a quiet, stark, intensity to this film including the acting that added a lot of dimension to what was not much dialogue or action.

This is basically the story of what seems to be two girls who come together out of both boredom and a need to have an ally. They’re both a bit rebellious, different and seem to be lost. However, there is a shocking twist to the end that turned this movie into more of a psychological portrayal of sociopathic behavior, which made this film for me.

Mona is a young woman who’s basically lost her whole family. She never knew her father, and her mother died of cancer. All who’s left is her brother. He was a bit of a rebel-rouser, always getting into fights and getting arrested, but while doing time in jail, he found Jesus. To the dismay of Mona, he turns their little family pub into a meeting place for the local born again Christians, living solely for Christ and preaching non-stop.

This drives Mona insane who feels she’s lost her only family and that he’s a phony. Just floating through life, she surreptitiously meets Tamsin, a local rich girl who’s family lives on a huge estate on the hill overlooking town.

Tamsin is home from boarding school for the summer and the girls hook up and start hanging out. Tamsin is just the diversion and friend that Mona needs since she pays attention to her and they seem to have a lot in common despite their different economic and social backgrounds. Mona can relate to Tamsin with her tales of woe that her sister has died of anorexia, sobbing as she recounts that story and the fact that her parents ignore her. Tamsin is also kind of intense and unique, not the usual fair in a young girl, which intrigues Mona.

Their relationship turns sexual and they egg each other on to destructive behavior. Seemingly in a world of their own, they promise to love each other forever. That is until…

All I can say is that I loved this film. It’s so offbeat and odd. The sexual relationship between the girls develops quite naturally, although this part of the film was presented more as a side bar than used as a titillation factor. It’s more about creating an insular, private world in which both girls feel they are safe and have someone who gets them.

Emily Blunt’s acting made this film. Often she just looks or stares, saying nothing, which keeps you wondering what Tamsin is about. And her acting, Tamsin acting is done really well.

If you’re in the mood for something unique, psychologically intriguing with a girl/girl theme, this movie is perfect.

Heat Level: 2- some sex scenes, but no nudity or graphic portrayals.

Grade: A-

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