Summer With Monika

I haven’t watched this movie. I have seen it mentioned in connection with either Melody or Moonrise Kingdom, as an influence. I have watched bits of it, skipping through, online with subtitles in English. I am not sure I care whether I see it. I have read the description of the whole thing, but I’d forgotten it enough to be really struck by the ending when I was unwatching it yesterday.

They aren’t kids, as in other films, but are 19 and 17. She’s no kid, at 17, but she’s certainly a free spirited wild child, near as I can tell.

The bits where they camp out along the water are probably the Moonrise Kingdom connection.

What struck me hard about it was her leaving him and the baby girl at the end. She reminds me so much of the wife, though she never physically left. She, in the terminology I like to use when the woman seduces the man incautiously or intentionally to this end, knocks him up. Actually, this happened to my brother, with the ages reversed. He never got a chance to finish growing up normally, which he needed to do. Or I suppose in a way he grew up too fast, just not completely or normally.

When things weren’t peachy – they were life as it really is – she got angry and showed her crazy side. Not that she hadn’t already, in more fun ways, that summer. She felt stuck in the house while he got to leave. To work to try to support and make things better for them! This is all quite familiar. And to be fair, it’s not easy to be stuck at home with the domestic duties. It’s easy to perceive the one going to work as having it made. It might be tempting, against all logic and self-interest, to try to divert or sabotage that.

It’s possible to leave without leaving. In a surprisingly similar scenario, that’s what happened here. Together, not together. Friends raising kids well, while she strives to have something secure that comes after. No matter how shaky that gets and how much she tries to leave the afterward scenario, it’s like an addiction.

Meanwhile, I see a financial crisis looming in 4 years or so, if not sooner, breaking our stable arrangement. I’m quietly trying to make myself a different future to thwart that. I’ve seen it coming for years. As far as I can tell, she just realized it yesterday. Except the guy who represents security in the future has been a factor too long and she’s held on too hard not to have realized it, so I assume she just mentioned but was long aware of it. Conscious or not, I take it to be her main motivation besides more fun and less drudge. He represents more fun and always did.

But I digress. I see Summer With Monika as pretty sad and depressing. Not the proverbial Hollywood ending. Not the ending where anything could happen and it could be happy as it gets. Not the ending that’s half happy in one regard and might still be happy in another. Not the ending that heals a whole community and is happy for the main pair. Not even the ending where maybe in a few years, when they’re not 13 any more, they can be together.

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