An interesting, spellbinding and ultimately dark tale of summer love and rebellion, "My Summer of Love" is a British film that transcends its budget and expectations. Starring Nathalie Press, Emily Blunt and Paddy Considine, those looking for something different may want to pick this one up.
Press plays a teenage girl who has just been dumped by her boyfriend and has realized she has few friends in the small town that she lives in her. Her older brother (Considine) is a born-again Christian whom she believes to be a fake, and in rebellion she begins to hang out with a beautiful rich girl who has moved to town for the summer. They strike up a deep and meaningful relationship that ascends beyond friendship into something more, but as they become more emotionally involved their love grows to dangerous levels.
All three actors are terrific, especially the two unknown leads. Both girls are believable and convincing, and while it is hard to relate with them at times you feel for them even when things begin to crumble. Blunt is especially good, while Considine is decent given his smaller and surprisingly flat role.
The real surprise is the story, which is much more moving and shocking than I was expecting. "My Summer of Love" is one of those films that starts off happily, but you get a sense early on that something is going to go wrong even though director Pawel Pawlikowski never gives anything away in any one scene. I knew absolutely nothing about this film before popping it in my DVD player, and was pleasantly surprised. The film slowly grows darker with every passing minute, and then everything connects and you go "wow."
"My Summer of Love" is a terrific little film that deserves some recognition. There isn't anything about it that necessarily blows you away, but it works at a fundamental level in a way you weren't expecting at all.
Review by Erik Samdahl unless otherwise indicated.
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