Film / My Summer of Love

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2004 British film directed by Pawel Pawlikowski and co-written by Pawel Pawlikowski and Michael Wynne. It is based on the novel of the same name by Helen Cross.

Working class orphan Mona (Natalie Press), whose once-hotheaded brother Phil (Paddy Considine) became a born again Christian in prison, meets upper class Tamsin (Emily Blunt), who suffers from a lack of love in her family. The two young girls quickly form a bond despite their different social backgrounds, and said bond goes way beyond friendship.

Filmed in Todmorden, West Yorkshire, the film went on to win a BAFTA.


Tropes:

  • Adapted Out: Mona had a sister called Lily in the book. It's just her and Phil in the film.
  • Adaptational Attractiveness: While the Mona and Tamsin of the book were never considered unattractive - Tamsin was still considered pretty even as Mona (as the narrator) wasn't shy in noting some noticeable physical flaws - overall they came across as looking like your more average, everyday teenagers. When in a movie they're played by Natalie Press and Emily Blunt, naturally they came across as a lot more glamorous than their book counterparts.
  • Adaptational Heroism: Mona is portrayed in a much more sympathetic and victimized light in the movie, where in the book she nearly reaches Tamsin's level of cruelty and is equally involved with her brother's death, who's role is almost completely changed in the movie.
  • Adaptational Sexuality: In the book any possible attraction between the two beyond just-friends affection is only distantly implied, if present at all. The movie, however, unambiguously plays their relationship out as a romantic affair and are clearly engaging in a sexual relationship.
  • Awful Truth: Tamsin doesn't love Mona, she just used her to have summer fun.
  • Bait the Dog: Phil is presented as a reformed ex-con who believes in prayer and meditation. When he discovers the relationship, he locks Mona in her room, hits her when she fakes a suicide and throws all the believers out.
  • Blonde, Brunette, Redhead: Present in one scene where Mona and Tamsin go to Ricky's wife. She is a blonde, with Tamsin as the brunette and Mona as the redhead.
  • Brainy Brunette: Tamsin. Clearly she's musically and academically talented, and turns out to be quite the manipulator.
  • Bury Your Gays: Subverted. Mona starts to drown Tamsin but pulls her up at the last second, possibly making it more of a symbolically cathartic moment than a literal attempt at this trope.
  • Corpsing: While Tamsin is lying Ricky's wife about Mona having his abortion and being left clinically depressed, the ruse is broken by her frequent giggling. Something Mona joins in with too.
  • Downer Ending: Phil relapses into his old violent ways, Mona leaves the pub and discovers that Tamsin is going back to school. And that she lied about her sister's death. Mona tries to drown Tamsin and then walks off ambiguously down the road, clearly unsure of what she'll do now.
  • Dysfunctional Family: Both Mona and Tamsin have one.
  • Expository Hairstyle Change: After their first kiss, Mona's straight hair is worn curly.
  • Faith–Heel Turn: Phil does a brutal one at the end and expels the believers from his house.
  • Faking the Dead: Mona fakes a suicide by hanging.
  • Fille Fatale: Tamsin. She does seem to bring out the darkest, most fatalistic sides of Mona and Phil at the end.
  • First Kiss: For Tamsin and Mona, at least their first kiss with another woman.
  • Foreshadowing: Tamsin's act towards Phil is very convincing. We find out she's a great actress who's been feeding Mona a pack of lies.
  • The Fundamentalist: Phil. He became a born-again Christian once he got out of jail, and reacts as you might expect when he finds out about the true nature of Mona and Tamsin's bond.
  • Hard-Drinking Party Girl: Mona's first moment is waking up hung over in a field, and she drinks plenty more times throughout the film.
  • Hiding Behind Religion: Phil. While his newfound born-again Christianity may be genuine, it becomes clearer he's using it at least partly to mask his darker and more abusive instincts, which come out during his interference with Tamsin and Mona's relationship.
  • I Lied: Tamsin's stories were all lies. Her parents were never separated - just on a holiday. She was never suspended from school - she's just on a break. And Sadie did not die of anorexia.
  • Jail Bait: The teenage Mona was having a fling with a married man called Ricky.
  • Letting Her Hair Down: Mona starts wearing her hair down as soon as she starts meeting Tamsin.
  • Lonely Rich Kid: Tamsin. Clearly neglected by her parents and without any close friends in town, it's no surprise she hits it off with the also very lonely and neglected Mona, despite their considerable difference in class and personality.
  • Love Makes You Crazy: Tamsin, although that's subject to Alternative Character Interpretation. Definitely with Mona at the end.
  • Manipulative Bastard: Tamsin. Both to Phil and more tragically, Mona.
  • Missing Mom: Mona's mother died of cancer.
  • Nietzsche Wannabe: Tamsin. She tries to impress Mona with a quote of his right away.
  • Ooh, Me Accent's Slipping: Emily Blunt appears to be attempting a Yorkshire accent in her first scene, but abandons it for the rest of the film. Possibly Tamsin making fun of Mona. Averted with Paddy Considine, whose accent is flawless.
  • Oop North: The entire story is set and filmed in Yorkshire.
  • Parental Neglect: Tamsin's parents, and Phil towards Mona.
  • Preacher Man: Phil. Holds gatherings in the old pub and rallies out in the countryside, although Tamsin and more subtly Mona suspects he's really just a fraud.
  • Promotion to Parent: Phil. Though Mona doesn't seem him in a "fatherly" light at all.
  • Psycho Lesbian: Tamsin. Also Mona at the end, when she at the very least wanted Tamsin to think she was going to drown her.
  • Punny Name: Mona's real name is Lisa. Her brother nicknamed her Mona Just for Pun.
  • Schoolgirl Lesbians: Tamsin and Mona. Ironically though the film takes place entirely during their summer break.
  • Setting Update: The book takes place in the 80s, and the film in the 2000s.
  • Slobs vs. Snobs: Mona is working class, lives in a pub and has a thick Yorkshire accent. Tamsin is upper class, plays the cello and quotes classic literature.
  • Spared by the Adaptation: Phil dies in the book but lives in the film.
  • Tomboy and Girly Girl: Mona and Tamsin, respectively. Although with Mona it's more in terms of personality as in appearance she's still somewhat girlish, and Tamsin has a much more austere, almost old-fashioned femininity than most modern examples of this trope.

http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.php/Film/MySummerOfLove