My Summer of Love (2004)
Starring: Nathalie Press, Emily Blunt, Paddy Considine, Dean Andrews, Paul Antony-Barber, Lynette Edwards, Kathryn Sumner
Directed by: Pawel Pawlikowski
You know when you’re watching a movie at home, and about ten minutes in you can already tell that you’re not going to like it? You’re then stuck at a crossroads: do you keep watching in the hopes that it will get better, or do you cut your loses now before you’ve invested too much time and trust your instincts?
I bring this up because I can’t think of an instance where sticking it out for a movie that I’m so disinterested in after ten minutes has ever paid off for me. It certainly didn’t for this movie. After ten minutes I was completely disinterested, but decided to give it another shot later (my wife did the smarter thing, she gave up on it then, and never came back to it). I watched the next half hour the next day, before drifting off to sleep, finally finishing the movie the next day… and wishing I’d spent the time doing something better (like watching a better movie).
Hopefully, I’ll learn from this experience next time and stop watching altogether (especially when the movie cost me nothing to watch, as this one did), but I’m sure I’ll do this again. In this particular case, I needed to keep watching to see what justified the near universal acclaim the movie got from critics (my conclusion: critics eat up this sort of semi-foreign, arty wankery).
My Summer of Love tells the story of two young girls, Mona (Nathalie Press) and Tamsin (Emily Blunt), who meet over the summer in their isolated little British town and fall in love. The movie is one of those cautionary tale type of movies about the trouble teenagers get into when lacking proper supervision, but handles the subject in a far better and less alarmist fashion than the teensploitation movies from this side of the pond like the dreadful Thirteen or the abominable Kids, so that’s a positive going for it. Another is the presence of Blunt, who shows that she’s a talent to watch out for in this. Now she just needs to be in better movies than this and The Devil Wears Prada. Press is also solid in her role, albeit with less screen presence than Blunt.
Too bad the whole thing is so utterly dull. I’ll admit, as evolved a male as I usually am, I’d be lying if I wasn’t also a little intrigued by the promise of two pretty young things spending a summer of love. But even the love scenes failed to interest me. Basically, I don’t have much to say about the movie, other than to point out that it took me three days to watch a 90 minute movie. I think that says all I need to say.
Instead, the reason I’m writing this review is to ask anyone who may still be reading the question I posed at the start. Has there been a time when you wanted to stop watching a movie early on, but instead slogged on, and you ended up liking it? Why do we keep wasting our time on movies that we’ve already mentally checked out of? Wouldn’t we all be better-adjusted people if we just trusting our instincts and moved on? I know my weekend would’ve been better spent if I had just hit “delete” ten minutes into this movie.