23 Jul 2014


Films have formulas and rules, but how well do films follow those formulas?  What about Lesbian Romance films, do they follows a strict formula and a set of rules?

My Summer of Love is the story of a poor town girl and her relationship with a rich girl sent home from boarding school as a bad influence.

The following analysis may contain spoilers for


"If you leave me, I'll kill ya.  Then I'll kill myself." ~ Mona.

RULE #1 - A Coming Out Story

"Mona" Lisa is the character from whose POV the story is told.  It is really made clear what her sexuality is.  Her previous relationship was with a male, and she does compare him to "boys" from school.  However, there doesn't seem to be the turmoil or transition that many of the previous coming-out characters went through.  There is an embarrassed laugh when Tamsin first kisses her, but that could be awkwardness with the relationship rather than with her sexuality.  At the end of the film there is no indication whether she has come out as a lesbian, has remained bisexual or if this was "just a phase."  The title, My Summer of Love may or may not suggest a phase.

RULE #2 - There May Be T&A

A fair bit of time in underwear and swimsuits.  And some nudity, especially Tamsin who not only walks around her room naked after sex, but sunbaths topless (and seems to enjoy the reactions that gets from Mona's brother.)

RULE #3 - Unsatisfied

The sex she had in a small car with the married man she's seeing didn't seem satisfying for her (she described as being not horribly but "normal, dunno") but it was him that broke up with her.  Her cynical prediction of her life suggests she's unsatisfied with everything.  

RULE #4 - Enter the Lesbian

Tamsin.  Both look fairly feminine, Tamsin possibly slightly more so than Mona but not much, avoiding the stereotype.  Less of the typical outsider, Tamsin is a privileged nihilist, which is in type of outsider, but she's also damaged, empty inside who seems to want to cause chaos to feel anything.  It isn't clear what - if any - relationships Tamsin has had before this.   Perhaps being a "bad influence on others" is code, maybe not. She does comment on how good looking Mona's brother is and flirt with him.  Rather than labelling Tamsin's sexually I'm going with the assumption that she looks for attention wherever she can get it.  Male, female, good, bad, sexual or not.

RULE #5 - Just Good Friends

They meet and become friends instantly and begin to hang out day and night.  It quickly becomes something more, and Mona never really labels it as just a friendship.

RULE #6 - Rejection By Friends and Family

When we first meet Mona's brother Phil he is in his bar emptying alcohol down a sink, having found faith and decided to turn the bar into a spiritual centre.  Mona rejects this change so there is already friction between them.  He later see that there is something wrong with Tamsin and forbids Mona from seeing her.  It is only then that tells him that she loves Tamsin.  He locks her in her room and his prayer circle prays for her.

RULE #7 - Will They, Won't They/On Again, Off Again

They're mostly on, not off until the end.

RULE #8 - Redemption/Acceptance

No redemption (shown).  Phil throws out his church group, but Mona walks out on him.  We don't know what happens when Mona (presumably) returns home.

RULE #9 - Happily Ever After?

When Mona turns up to run way with Tamsin, she discovers that Tamsin is going back to boarding school and has been lying to her all this time.  They meet in their stream and kiss, but Mona begins to try to strangle/drown Tamsin, but stops.  As she walks away, Mona smiles.
The ending veers towards the crazy lesbian killer rule, but stops.  Mona seems to have found control in her life, which is a happy ending for her, but not the one we mean in the rule.

RULE #10 - No Sequels

No sequels.


  • Rules that are followed in this film:  3, 6.
  • Rules that are partially followed, or not clear, in this film:  1, 2, 4, 5, 8, 9.
  • Rules that are not followed in this film:  4, 7, 10.
~ DUG.
Remember to do the survey to determine the fourth genre to be tested.
Check out the schedule for upcoming Film Rules films to be reviewed.
Also a question for the comments...  Do people prefer the alternating between 2 sets of rules or would they like to see one set finished before the next starts?

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