Opens Fri June 17
Ordinarily, I hate teenagers. But when they're two fascinating/evil/sassy/silly British chicks who're caught up in red wine, Ouija boards, and a lesbian love affair, well… that's a different story.
My Summer of Love is a strangely aimless film for most of its duration, as it follows the chance encounter and near-immediate attachment between the two main characters, Mona and Tamsin (Nathalie Press and Emily Blunt, respectively). In an unabashed flick of fairy tale cliché, the two are juxtaposed as opposites by nature of their economic standing.
Mona is "the poor one," who lives with her former-thug-turned-Born-Again-Christian older brother in an apartment over their inherited tavern, scoots around on a motor-less dirt bike, and screws a fat, nasty, married asshole in the backseat of his car, apparently out of boredom.
Tamsin, as "the rich one," is visiting on break from school, has barely-there parents who own a gorgeous and immense Tudor home, rides horses, spews overeducated and under-processed bullshit about philosophy and art, owns a closet full of dress-up dream outfits, etc. Yet, as eye-roll inducing as the premise may be, this film is absolutely enchanting to watch.
Both Press and Blunt are new to the screen, and their performances are remarkably engaging. Despite the fact that, plot-wise, little happens for the first three quarters of the film, the lack of action is overshadowed by the charm of the girls' beautifully shot worlds.
Unfortunately, the romantic aspect of the girls' relationship, while a little bit hot, perpetuates the predictability built into this film. The drama and plot twists that suddenly rise to the surface near the film's end are similarly cluttered and sudden, but interesting nonetheless.
Possibly the most generous interpretation of the nonsensical dramas that emerge in My Summer of Love is that the film is intended to progress much as life seems to in adolescence. The film replicates an episode of summer, back when the seasons were neatly sectioned off by bookends of schooling. Back then, the lazy bliss almost had to come to a boil, spurned by the natural love of drama held near and dear to every teenage girl's heart. After the explosions, the summer could then be abandoned, sealed off as a tidy, cohesive experience to be neatly filed away in the larval development of girls' personalities. Regardless of whether or not this vibe was intended with My Summer of Love, watching it happen is juicy as hell.