It took me three long decades to finally catch the 1982 camp classic SUMMER LOVERS; 30 years; and it wasn’t because of a lack of interest on my part, trust me (Of course I could have rented it many times over but I much rather own it). The film just came and went when it was first released onto the big screens here in Montreal. I swear, I didn’t even have time to check the listings. That’s how fast the film disappeared. Or so it seemed at the time. But I remember thinking while looking at the poster add in the newspapers how fetching the stars looked. I still do.
Cheesy moments aside, SUMMER LOVERS still manages to work to its advantage, due mostly to the strong performances of the trio. I’ll go even further and say that SUMMER LOVERS sparkles because it reminds me of those little French films (like Claude Pinoteau LA BOUM, for instance) that look like nothing at first glance but pack a big punch when everything’s said and done. I dare anyone not to feel a tad envious of these characters when the end credits start rolling (to the sound of The Pointer Sisters I’m So Excited, no less).
On a sad note, French actress Valerie Quennessen is no longer with us, having fallen victim to a car accident in the late ‘80s. FRENCH POSTCARDS (1979) was her first foray into American films. CONAN THE BARBARIAN was another one. SUMMER LOVERS was the last movie she made before heading back to France to raise a family. To me, this Kleiser flick will always be the epiphany of her short career. It may be imperfect in many ways but highly deserves its cult film status—even if it took me 30 years to confirm this.
Until next post—Martin