My Summer Of Love

Discussion in 'TV Show Forum' started by valhalla, Oct 23, 2004.

  1. valhalla


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    Two adolescent girls from very different background meet up in the North English countryside. They both come from dysfunctional families – one, Mona, is cared for by her born-again brother who is busy turning their inherited tavern into a place of 'worship'. She has a motorbike without an engine that she bought for a tenner from some gypsies. The other girl, Tamsin, has come home from (or been temporarily expelled from) her public school and has come home for the summer to the family mansion and frequently-absentee parents. Somehow they each seem to provide the emotional jigsaw piece that the other lacks, and a tender love affair develops between them.

    My Summer of Love is a light-hearted mix of drama and comedy, and would probably stop at being pleasantly superficial were it not for the remarkable performances of the lead characters. Two relatively unknown actors have been coaxed by Director Paul Pavlikovsky to bring us performances that are so vibrant and unique that we remain glued to the screen throughout. At the film's world premiere at the Edinburgh International Film Festival, I asked Pavlikovsky and his leading ladies Natalie Press and Emily Blunt whether the screenplay was scripted or a combination of script and improvisation. They enthused about his 'mad' techniques and 'riffing' performances until 'little gems of dialogue' appeared and were worth keeping. Some dialogue is from their original script, but when I asked if that meant some was improvised he said that improvisation often results in clichés, which is the opposite of what they were trying to achieve. In the search for 'gems of dialogue' some of the scenes would be workshopped beforehand, but with a certain amount of leeway to see what worked when they were actually shot.

    (Spoilers): The ending of the film leaves quite a few questions, including ones about the nature of the girls' love for each other and how 'real' it was. In the post-premiere Q&A, Emily Blunt suggested that 'Tamsin is more emotive' in the way she expresses her love, whereas Mona has more of an earthy innocence. This idea that there can be many equally valid forms of true love is perhaps as intellectually challenging as the film gets, although we are left to feel, Blunt suggests, that both of the characters survive the experience and become strong. Nathalie Press revealed that an alternate (perhaps more crowd pleasing) ending had also been shot but discarded.

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