December 2, 2005

My Summer Of Love

I find that Roger Ebert usually dashes straight to the crucial point of a film, but I think perhaps he's slightly astray with Pawel Pawlikowski's My Summer of Love. It's a very good movie -- I think everyone agrees with that. And Ebert is exactly right about the pacing:

The movie is sweet and languid when the girls are together... Pawel Pawlikowski, the director and co-writer (with Michael Wynne), wisely allows then time to seem to flow, instead of pushing it.

And he's right that, despite appearances, this is not about anyone's discovery of sexual identity.

The title of 'My Summer of Love' gives away two games at once: That she will fall in love, and that autumn will come.

This is not the story of two girls in love, and it's not Fucking Amål, and it seems incidental that the two girls are two girls.

But it's not: you couldn't remake it as boy meets girl, the way you could make a straight It Happened On Night, or a gay Some Like It Hot. This is a story that only works the way it's told; what seems incidental is unexpectedly essential.

Ebert's review sets up the expectation that it's all about the ending. It is, yes, and yet it isn't: there isn't a real twist. Not only has everything in the denoument has been established, it's been so well established that the surprise isn't surprising until the story over and you realize how that wasn't what you expected but it's what you should have expected.

My Summer Of Love