2015 Blind Spot Series: Smiles of a Summer Night


What I knew going in: Apparently this is Woody Allen's least favorite Bergman film, despite the fact that he's seemingly tried to capture its feel it over and over.

It's funny, when I went through a list of Bergman movies and started adding them to my Blind Spots, this was one where I don't even think I looked at the plot. When I watched Wild Strawberries last year, I wondered if that was the closest thing Bergman would ever get to a comedy. Nope, that is this film.

Fredrik Egerman (Gunnar Björnstrand) is a lawyer married to a 19 year old, Anne. (Ulla Jacobsson) They haven't consummated their relationship. Fredrik gives her time, but eventually her eyes start to wonder to his son, on a break from seminary school, Henrick. (Björn Bjelfvenstam) Only he's too busy lusting after their hot maid, Petra. (Harriet Andersson) Then you have Fredrik trying to rekindle and old flame in Desiree, (Eva Dahlbeck) a stage actress. Only she's having an affair with the Count Carl Magnus Malcolm, (Jarl Kulle) who is cheating on his wife, Charlotte. (Margit Carlqvist) Desiree decides the only sensible thing to do is invite them all to a dinner part at the same time. Catch all that?

I made it sound more confusing that it really is. The film is just fun. It's almost slap stick-y in nature. There's all these affairs going on, yet the fact that none of the actors actually have romantic chemistry with each other is kind of golden. It's easy to root for Desiree, who gives zero fucks at this point, and Petra because they are just fun. It's very theatrical and beautifully shot, like every Bergman film I've seen has been. This also feels very different from the others, and I appreciate that he went for something light hearted, but still threw a very intense scene in there that completed worked.

Recommended: Yes

Grade: A-

Memorable Quote: "Does it fit? Not too big? Not too small?" - Count Carl Magnus Malcolm (Jarl Kulle)

14 comments:

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    1. It's currently 2nd on my (still relatively small) Bergman list. Right after Persona, but literally right behind it.

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  2. I know of this film but have never seen it. Great review and I would love to see it if I can find it so I can watch it on TV

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    1. Thank you! I got it from Netflix's DVDs. None of this guy's films are on Instant :(

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  3. I liked this one as well as I think it's one of Bergman's more entertaining films as opposed to his more serious ones.

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    1. Definitely. The tone of this is so different to the other three films I've seen of his. It's strange to think he was so ill and in a bad place when he made this. It was so light and fluffy for lack of a better word. lol

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  4. I haven't heard of this before (nor am I really familiar with Bergman's filmography). This sounds interesting and funny, will have to add it to my watch list. Great review!

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    1. Thank you! I'm still new to Bergman, but I had to check him out after seeing so many in the Blogosphere rave about him. He lives up to the hype.

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  5. Go ahead and file me under 'guy who doesn't no shit about Bergman', but this film seems like a good place to start. Too bad you can also file me under 'guy who doesn't pay for DVDs on Netflix' sooo...yeah. Not f--king likely I'll ever see this.

    Great post, though. This movie sounds pretty rad.

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    1. lol. My husband has brought up dropping our DVD service before and I'm always like "noooo I will never see any older indies again!"

      I didn't know shit about Bergman until last year so I'm no better. lol

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  6. Yesss so glad you liked it! The most fun movie Bergman ever made. You're right, it is a little hard to describe the plot in print, but the movie itself just breezes by.

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    1. It does. Writing the plot down makes it sound way more complicated then it is. It flows so well. I'm glad I liked this too.

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  7. YAY! It's hard not to enjoy this Bergman film, especially since his other ones can be so serious.

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    1. Agreed. This stands out so much because it's so lighthearted. Maybe it will knock Persona off from being my favorite Bergman. lol

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No seriously, post one. I need attention.