Mona (Nathalie Press) is bored. And disgusted with her brother, Phil (Paddy Considine, "In America", "Cinderella Man"). Phil, just released from prison, returns home having `found God' and transforms the family pub into a revival hall. He starts to have meetings, trying to transform the lives of people in the small Yorkshire town. Mona meets Tamsin (Emily Blunt), the daughter of a wealthy family. They form a friendship, teaching each other about their lives, sharing secrets, exploring together.
"My Summer of Love" is a very good film. Many things about it are fairly ambiguous, peaking your attention. For instance, it isn't immediately clear when the film is taking place. Everything in the little town in Yorkshire, England is slightly old-fashioned. Very few cars are seen. The two girls dress in slightly hippy-ish clothes. No cell-phones, plasma televisions or computers are in evidence. But I don't think it is actually set in the late 60s. I don't think the film is trying to be a period piece. But because it is ambiguous about this, the film gives itself a certain amount of dramatic license, allowing us to believe in the relationship between the two girls.
As the two girls grow closer, they begin to affect each other's lives in ways that are very natural. Each is clearly bored. Tamsin mentions early on that she was expelled from boarding school. She is "a bad influence". Because she is bored, is a bad influence, and has more resources than Mona, she begins to change the life of her friend. First they are friends, sharing laughs and time, and adventures. But as their relationship unfolds, they become closer and share love, declaring that they will never separate.
Mona is a less complex character on the surface. She follows Tamsin's lead, presumably to the ends of the Earth. A captive audience for Tamsin, the stronger personality, Mona follows because she wants to escape her brother's newfound religion. As her character develops, we sense that she is perhaps stronger than she let on, maybe even steering the relationship to meet her needs.
The two girls become lovers, but the film is not about them being Lesbians. It is about the bond they build and share, and how that bond is threatened. Both girls are probably seventeen and they share experiences like any normal teenage girl or boy would share them. With intensity. As if they were the last experiences they were ever to have. With all of their heart.
There is a lot of emotional power in the film. Mona doesn't really believe that her brother has "found God". It is merely another scheme he has come up with. This makes him all the more unbearable to her. Later, when he comes to Tamsin's house to find her, Tamsin tries to seduce him. This is a great scene, providing a lot of depth to all three characters.
"My Summer of Love" is a very good film about two teenagers who share love, heartbreak and more over the course of a single summer.