My Summer of Love



Coming of age story; older teens and adults only.
  • Review Date: October 10, 2005
  • Rated: R
  • Genre: Drama
  • Release Year: 2005
  • Running Time: 86 minutes

What parents need to know

Positive messages

Girls lie and taunt others.


Angry grabbing of throats and pushing.


Sixteen-year-old girl has brief sex with married male lover, two girls have drug-hazy sex, none explicit.


Some use of the f-word.

Not applicable
Drinking, drugs, & smoking

Smoking, drinking, drugs, briefly shown.

Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that this movie features instances of smoking, drinking, and drug use (including mushrooms), some rough language (including "f--k"), some experimentation with a Ouija board and discussion of anorexia, arguments over religious faith (the brother has been born again in prison and imposes it on his sister), a sex scene between a 16-year-old girl and her married male lover, and a lesbian relationship between two high school students. For mature viewers, the film offers a complicated look at belief and desire, and terrific performances by the young leads. The movie includes brief violence, when the brother grabs a girl by the throat, and when one girl learns the other has been lying and tries to drown her.

What's the story?

In MY SUMMER OF LOVE, Mona (Natalie Press), feeling confined by the Yorkshire village where she's lived all her life. Everything changes when she meets lovely, upper class Tamsin (Emily Blunt). The girls hit it off and, as Tamsin's parents are away, they begin to spend their days in the family's luxurious grand mansion and grounds. Working class Mona enjoys the, fineries, but her brother Phil (Paddy Considine) – just released from prison -- worries that she's away from home and his new found religious interests strains the siblings' relationship. The girls' romance builds slowly. They share secrets, as when Tamsin recalls her dead sister's struggle with anorexia and takes up Mona's defense over her ex-lover, a married man (Dean Andrews), with whom she shared clandestine, joyless, backseat sex before her dumped her. Eventually, Phil's efforts to control Mona drive her to make a choice, between her known past and the unknowable Tamsin.

Is it any good?


An intricate study of high school-aged rebellion and yearning, My Summer of Love makes a familiar plot seem new. In part this is because it takes the view of young Mona, superbly portrayed by Natalie Press. The girls' budding romance evolves in an alternately fluid and jaunty process as they explore one another and their own feelings, partly a function of cinematographer Ryszard Lenczewski's adept handheld camerawork, and partly of Pawlikowski's experience as a documentary maker.

Each member of this threesome is obsessive in his or her own way; when Phil literally locks Mona in her bedroom in an effort to "save" her, she begins drawing Tamsin's portrait on her wall. This image -- colored chalk on the roughhewn surface -- showcases Tamsin's eye as Mona perceives and needs it, a means to see herself reflected.

Families can talk about...

  • Families can talk about the relationship between orphaned Mona and her brother: how might they alleviate tensions by discussing their differences? How is her hope that he'll be "like he was" before prison both unrealistic and understandable? How does she see his efforts to protect her as efforts to control her? How does the film show problems caused by deceit -- between siblings, friends, and lovers? How does Mona's yearning for escape lead her to believe promises that can't be true?

Movie details

Theatrical release date:June 17, 2005
DVD release date:October 11, 2005
Cast:Emily Blunt, Natalie Press, Paddy Considine
Director:Pawel Pawlikowski
Studio:Focus Features
Run time:86 minutes
MPAA rating:R
MPAA explanation:sexuality, language and some drug use

This review of My Summer of Love was written by

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Learning ratings

  • Best: Really engaging; great learning approach.
  • Very Good: Engaging; good learning approach.
  • Good: Pretty engaging; good learning approach.
  • Fair: Somewhat engaging; OK learning approach.
  • Not for Learning: Not recommended for learning.
  • Not for Kids: Not age-appropriate for kids; not recommended for learning.

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What parents and kids say

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Parent of a 8, 11, and 16 year old Written byCamillaandherkids June 11, 2009

kinda innapropriate

My sixteen year old daughter saw it and said "whoa"!
What other families should know
Too much sex
Parent of a 8 and 11 year old Written byAmira1976 March 21, 2010

Not for Anyone

I truly regret watching this film. The way it has been made is so direct , leading us right into lesbian love of teenagers with obvious sexual symbols like a girl in red arriving on a white horse - oh my - unbelievable. Such junk . It mocks Christianity and depicts faith in a very inappropriate way and the whole story is just cheesy.
What other families should know
Too much violence
Too much sex
Too much swearing
Too much drinking/drugs/smoking
Teen, 13 years old Written byBecky Chandler January 1, 2014

Excellent Portrayal of a Lesbian Romance

I think this film is one of the very few films/TV shows that portray a lesbian relationship so accurately and beautifully. The acting - especially by Emily Blunt and Paddy Considine - was sensational. The relationship between troubled Mona (Natalie Press) and the gorgeous Tamsin (Emily Blunt) was filled with passion and chemistry. Throughout the duration of the film there relationship developed. I loved Mona's brother Phil (Paddy Considine) who I think was great as Mona's reformed brother. Mona is infatuated with Tamsin and sees her as an addiction and soon she is spending every day with her. The ending was amazing not just because there was a huge twist, because it was powerful and a good way to end the film. Because the theme centres around two young lesbian lovers then of course there will be passionate scenes that parents may feel are unsuitable for children to watch. As a part of Tamsin's seductive character you do see her sunbathing topless and there is a scene in which, before she met Tamsin, Mona has sex with an older married man. There is some swearing but nothing that you wouldn't expect from a 15 rating. There is also some violence (which is quite unexpected). Some references to cancer, anorexia and religion are made which could affect some people. There is also a scene with a Oujia board where a girl talks to her sister. I would encourage you to watch this with or without your children as it genuinely is a great film and it stays with you a long time.
What other families should know
Too much violence
Too much sex
Too much swearing


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