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Summer Lovers
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Reviews & Ratings for
Summer Lovers More at IMDbPro »

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41 out of 45 people found the following review useful:

This movie is so much MORE than just 'T & A'!! A subtle classic

Author: cyberian from Utah, USA
12 December 2004

How can you NOT love a movie that actually has a clip from a 3 Stooges short?

But seriously, this movie has a way of getting under the skin of many who view it. Like "Bagdad Cafe", and "Summer of '42" this movie has a certain 'magic' to it that stays with you for a very long time afterward. It's not due to any one element, but rather, the synergy created between the beautiful cinematography of the lush Greek scenery, the chemistry between the drop-dead gorgeous cast (all at their absolute peak of sexual/physical ripeness), a dynamic, inspiring soundtrack, and a subtle, well-crafted plot (if you can actually call it that...it is more of a skeletal framework...a backdrop against which to explore the issues at hand) It is a more mature examination, a graduate course, if you will, of the sexual revolution. It is a victory celebration of polyamorous relationships. It's the other side of the coin of 'Bob & Carol & Ted & Alice'. It is "The Harrod Experiment" coming-of-age. (To those of you who were 15 when you saw "Summer Lovers", I doubt you've heard of The Harrod Experiment. The casualness with which nudity is handled in this flick only contributes to the overall beauty of it. (I doubt the movie would have had nearly the same effect if the principals were Roseanne & Oprah, with Pauley Shore playing the male lead...) Funny thing, when it came out, prurient minds dismissed it as the quintessential sleazy male fantasy. There was just one problem with this knee-jerk review...Females liked it as much (if not more) than male viewers!!! This movie has confounded the critics since its debut...and still does so as it continues to win fans 22 years after its release. It is one of the few truly realistic depictions of an 'alternate lifestyle', handled with exquisitely good taste with just the right amount of restraint. Even the editing is exemplary. Truly a classic bit of film-making.

Warning: View it at your own risk. As I stated, the 'message' of this movie is insidious, and can cause one to re-examine some long-held social conventions. Subsequent viewings only enhance this effect. 5 years before "Dirty Dancing", there was Summer Lovers.

The sole tragic note to this movie is that Valerie Quennessen died only 7 years after its release.

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25 out of 26 people found the following review useful:

Good Lighthearted Fun

8/10
Author: Gator1955 from United States
21 December 2004

Sometimes, one wants their movies to be an escape tool. That's what this movie was when it was made and what it has always been. Two young people vacation on a Greek Island and meet a French woman who has led a rather eclectic life. Educated, knowledgeable about life and just plain sexy she is. A love triangle ensues without all the recriminations that would result in the real world. The only "pain and suffering" is the normal feelings of sharing a lover with another.

The funniest part is the surprise visit from the American girl's mother and best friend. For all its risqué subject matter, the movie stays on the surface of all that and plays this for fun and laughter. It's just good old-fashioned escapism along the lines of "California Dreaming," "Hollywood Knights," and other movies of that genre. It serves to introduce us to Darryl Hannah and Valerie Quennessen, who was lost in an automobile accident in the eighties.

If you're looking for a movie that will give you a few laughs, a little titillation and some harmless sexuality, this is a good choice. Who knows, it may spark some interesting conversations between you and your significant other!

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30 out of 36 people found the following review useful:

One of the best movies I have seen

10/10
Author: milivojac from Banjaluka, Republika Srpska
15 October 2004

I must have seen this movie 20 times since 1991 when I first saw it. Nothing else to be said, but perfect!!! Perfect and yet, very simple! Music is fantastic,the cast is perfect. Locations are only to wish for. Dialogs- humorous. I could go on and on about it. I never actually analyzed the plot (my wife dislikes the movie mostly for its threesome theme) but one should never analyze something as perfect looking as this. It is a real poetry of film-making! And don't get me wrong, because I've seen Sofia's choice, Traffic, Blade Runner and all bunch of stuff with all kind of themes and complexities! This is the movie you WATCH and Enjoy! All the time! Every time! I strongly recommend it especially Greece and beach lovers.

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25 out of 29 people found the following review useful:

Sweet Classic about Mange a Trois on perfect summer isle

Author: mkham6 from RI
25 May 2002

This is a wonderful movie- described by many as an escapist fantasy, but letter perfect in it's depiction of the awkward relationship of European-adventuring couple Gallagher + Darryl Hannah in her most resplendent role (Rent this one-she is nude in 60% of it and have no idea how they pared it down for AMC), the difficult mechanics of a 3-way relationship, the sexual politics of the steamy Greek Isles, the carefree tentative joy of gorgeous twenty somethings on the loose in paradise.

The location on the fabled Greek Island of Santorini (Thera) is breathlessly beautiful- it was annihilated in 1600 BC in a titantic volcanic explosion that wiped out the whole Eastern Med, and probably the source of Atlantis legends- 10 years later ('92) I visited (maybe subconciously from the movie) and still think it's the most beautiful place in the world- 1000 ft. cliffs with 10 stories of whitewashed interconnected blue-roofed buildings in a brilliant white strip along the top (town of Fira), black sand beaches on outer side, 2500 ft central mountain w Roman/Hellenistic/Dorian acropoli, entire intact buried Minoan city (Acrotiri-prominently featured) with 3 story bldgs and gorgeous color frescos- a Pompei that's twice as old, central volcano in the middle of grotto, impossibly aquamarine Agean, 7000 years of habitation. I blew through 5 36-exp rolls of film in the first day and burnt myself right through 30 SPF though it was March (the sun reflects off the whitewashed bldgs), which was a nice change from the Russian winter I'd just endured. The Greek Isles are sybaritic mating Shangri-La's for Europeans, packed with spectacular slick semi-naked Euro women (mostly Mikinos).

Valerie is a sweetheart too, a slightly flaky French waif with huge sad haunting eyes- maybe she knew she only had 7 years left. The relationship is driven more by the women than Gallagher, as often really happens. I accidentally saw it in Chicago at the near end of an exhausting 4 mo. cross country expedition (with Officer + a Gentleman-hell of a twin bill) and was really moved by it, or rather the incredible Hannah, whom I instantly and totally loved. Think Jackie Kennedy made a bad mistake banning JFK Jr from marrying her- his life would have been far more fulfilled with this magnificent sweetheart than with the hard eyed Bissette, who reportedly demanded he wait for her sister and take off for Martha's Vinyard 1 1/4 hours later than he wanted, into the deadly dusk.

This movie uses songs more perfectly than almost any movie I can think of- "I'm so excited", "Everbody needs a little time away"- Chicago, at just the appropriate points. Do check it out- exp. the video, because the un-self conscious unaffected unenhanced Hannah is unequaled, and the movie is a sweet libertine gem. -------------------------------------------- Mike Hammerschlag

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19 out of 21 people found the following review useful:

Greek Math: 1 + 2 = 3

Author: Poseidon-3 from Cincinnati, OH
12 February 2003

How best to describe a big slice of cinematic Velveeta? The film concerns itself with three beautiful tan people (on an island of beautiful tan people) who find fulfillment in a relationship that involves the three of them together. A tawdrier subject who would be hard to come up with, yet somehow it all comes across as (mostly) good, clean fun. A pre-stardom Gallagher brings his self-conscious, sexually naive girlfriend (Hannah) to a splendid Greek island where nudity on the beach is common and sex and drugs are everywhere for the taking. (Of course, our screen lovemakers pass on the drugs, lest they offend even more potential Puritanical viewers than they do by getting involved in a threesome!) Penis and bare breasts are evident on screen before the opening credits even roll. Gallagher is on the island approximately 10 minutes before he comes across serene, sun-basking Quennessen who is completely at home with the Bohemian nature of the island (and has one amazing pair of eyes, although Gallagher probably was more interested in another pair of hers!) He pursues her at every opportunity until she catches him. Expected resentments occur once Hannah finds out, but what sets this apart from the other 2000 stories about adultery that have been filmed is this...once Hannah meets Quennessen, she finds herself enamored of her so much that she starts to encourage the relationship between her and Gallagher. The rest of the story you can glean from the title. The best aspects of the film include the tremendously inviting and arresting Greek scenery and architecture, the ultra-pop soundtrack (which is occasionally intrusive) and surprisingly natural performances of the rather green lead actors. Another plus, for many viewers will be the nonstop parade of non-surgically-enhanced breasts and buns of the young international cast of extras. Flaws include a pretty weak script and occasional editing that looks like it was done with the proverbial chainsaw. The film benefits extraordinarily from the location shooting. If it had been set anywhere else it would become the most tacky soft porn film of all time. It is dispiriting to think of this junk as screen veteran Rush's last theatrical feature, though, admittedly, she is perfect as Hannah's confounded mother. Her sidekick Cook gets in a few laughs before they are spirited off. Gallagher and Hannah obviously went on to much better things. Unfortunately, Quennessen was dead within a few years from an accident and rising Dutch actor Tongeren killed himself that same year. It's a bit of a time capsule...a pre-AIDS wallow in sexual freedom and exploration, that inexplicably remains rather innocent despite it's subject.

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20 out of 23 people found the following review useful:

I fell in love with Valérie Quennessen.

Author: Jason R. Norris (skip@cow-net.com) from Duncan, BC, Canada
17 August 1999

This is a great movie for those willing to throw caution to the wind and go for a ride. At first I was into it for the funky love-triangle. I wanted to see how it would turn out. As it progressed I found that I was paying less attention to the sexual aspects of the film and ended up lost in the eyes of Valérie Quennessen. Without a doubt she has the most beautiful soul I've ever seen in a woman's eyes.

The instant it ended I came to IMDb to see what else she's done. Then I learned the worst. Valérie died 10 years ago. I genuinely feel a loss in my heart.

I must be crazy...I must be in love.

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23 out of 30 people found the following review useful:

i thought it was lovely

Author: suzylux-1 from boston
17 September 2004

when they dressed as cowboys and sang her that song? so cute.

daryl hannah isn't an Oscar-caliber actress. so what? did she ever claim to be? no. she is lovely, and charming and tender. and funny! i dunno, i've always liked daryl hannah. i have no issues with her not being the greatest actress. people seem to enjoy pointing this out about her, rather than pointing out her loveliness and the tenderness she conveys with such ease through the camera. there is more to movies and actresses than being a top-notch 'respected' actress like meryl streep or judi dench or something. OK rant over :)

anyway, i thought they all looked so good together that i wanna be in a menage a trois now. or at least go to Greece and be nude on a beach ;)

it could have been better, yeah. obviously lina and cathy should have had a kissing scene (or more). but hey, they were so cute together in other scenes that it sort of made up for it. the script was uneven in places and they totally rushed through lina's emotional diversion from the threesome, but all in all i really liked it. it's adventurous, sweet and romantic. they don't make movies like this anymore.

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14 out of 15 people found the following review useful:

Makes you want to go to the Greek isles

7/10
Author: John G from Bloomington, IN
6 August 2002

I liked the theme of personal growth and minor sexual liberation against the backdrop of Greece, specifically, Thira (Santorini). There is some decent, although very minor, treatment of the archaeology of the Minoan civilization on Thira. The performances were good and the scenery is stunningly beautiful. A good amount of toplessness and some minor full nudity is refreshingly well treated. Point in fact, I had similar experiences when I went to the islands in 1984. Entertaining and poignant.

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16 out of 19 people found the following review useful:

Probably not for you

7/10
Author: jtdunlop from Melbourne, Australia
15 April 2004

Roger Ebert likes to say (paraphrased) that it's not what a movie's about, but rather how it goes about it. Often so, especially in retread after retread that go by every year, but with Summer Lovers it's the reverse, because there's really very little to compare it to. This is a film that struggles with limited (but attractive) talent, flamboyantly uneven direction and bad editing. What's worse, a film has to often use dialog in place of looks and feelings that take place and have meaning in a relationship, but that are lost to the observer, and the dialog here often fails.

But at the same time, Summer Lovers doesn't blink when looking into freedom of the body, and freedom in relationships. Some look at this as fantasy, but indeed there are a lot of people who have made the one-way trip down that rabbit hole and can understand what this film's really about.

I give it an E for Effort. I like it better for having failed in its ambition than having succeeded in a lesser attempt. It's definitely not for the uptight, but if you're sitting around some day in an expansive frame of mind, wondering if you're getting everything out of your life that you ought to, then maybe rent this one and have an enjoyable afternoon thinking about the possibilities.

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11 out of 12 people found the following review useful:

a Greek fantasy

8/10
Author: Katy-13
21 March 1999

This sex comedy/travelogue focuses on the beauty of Greece with its aerial photography of the island of Santorini (a.k.a. Thera). It is a picture-postcard fantasy of Greece. The production values are high and the scenes are colorful and crisp. A lot of its comedy comes from the fact that it's so embarrassing to watch, in a good way. There are a lot of cheesy moments that I wouldn't want to miss. It's 70's/early 80's alternative lifestyle style, which includes a group disco romp where everyone holds hands at the same time! Then there is that scene with the nude body builders... The film is well worth seeing if you've ever dreamed of going to Greece.

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