Movie Mirrors Index

Summer with Monika (Sommaren med Monika)

(Swedish 1953 c 96')

En: 5 Ed: 6

Per Anders Fogelstrom adapted his own novel about a young couple who leave their jobs and the city during the summer on a boat and camp out; but they have difficulty handling their responsibilities of marriage and family.

         In a café Monika (Harriet Andersson) asks Harry (Lars Ekborg) for a match and suggests they travel together. She mentions a romantic movie, and he asks her to go that evening. She is pleased to have a date and runs off.

         Harry is working in a factory and is criticized. In the cinema Monika cries and blows her nose. As she walks with Harry, she talks about the movie. She asks him to put his arm around her and kiss her, and he does so. They say they like each other and make out.

         In the morning he asks to meet her after work. They go to his home while his father is gone; his mother died. He gives her stockings. She lays down and unbuttons his shirt. He hears his father come in.

         Harry and Monika find a place to be alone. Monika wakes up at home and asks her mother (Naemi Briese) for a match. Two musicians serenade her as she leaves. At work she tells a co-worker that she has another guy. A soldier tries to kiss her, but she resists him.

         At home Monika’s father (Ake Fridell) dances with her mother on their 25th anniversary. Monika says he is drunk, and he threatens her. She says she is leaving, packs a bag, and goes out. On the street she tells Harry that her father beat her. She says she can’t go home. Harry goes home and gets a sleeping bag; he tells his aunt he is loaning it to a friend. Harry takes Monika to his father’s boat and says they can stay there. She says she is wet and changes her clothes. She tells him to take off his pants, and they get in the sleeping bag.

         In the morning he says he has to go to work, gives her some money, kisses her, and goes. At work he is in trouble for being late. He says he will quit, and the boss says not to pay him for that week. He breaks a vase and leaves.

         Monika brings two suitcases to the boat, and they plan to travel. They take the boat away from the city. In the morning she makes coffee with a fire and then wakes Harry. They caress each other. They celebrate their freedom. She takes off her sweater and her bra, and he touches her. She goes swimming naked. Later they sing while he shaves.

         They travel in the boat and find an outdoor dance. He sees Lelle, and they ignore him. They sit by a fire. He says his dad never got over his mother’s death. She says her father gets drunk. He says he wants to be an engineer and repaired the boat. She says they could get married. She thinks she may have a baby. He says he will find a good job, and they imagine their happy future.

         She teaches him to dance better while another camper finds their boat, goes through things, and sets fire to it. Harry sees the smoke, runs, and fights with the young man. When he has Harry down, Monika hits him with a pan. They fight some more, and Harry knocks him out. Then he gets up and leaves.

         In the evening Harry and Monika drink, sing, laugh, and kiss. The next day she is tried of eating mushrooms. She suggests they steal apples and persuades him. They go at dusk, and a couple catches Monika in their cellar. They take her in their house and ask her to eat. The man calls the police. Monika grabs a roast and runs out. She runs and hides in tall grass. She hears the boat and leaves with Harry. They quarrel, and she says she needs regular food. He suggests going back so he can get a good job, but she does not want to go back. They travel in the boat back to the city. He says he has something to work for now.

         A few months later Monika is pregnant, and Harry’s aunt (Dagmar Ebbesen) says they want to get married. Harry is at work and gets a call that Monika had a baby girl. His boss tells him to take her flowers. He visits Monika in the hospital and sees the baby.

         At night Harry hears the baby cry and gets up to comfort the child. In the morning he wakes up Monika. He gives her money, but she complains they are poor. His aunt comes in, and he leaves for a few days. Monika smokes and goes out.

         On a train Harry and other workers come back from a job. Harry gets home and finds  Lelle coming out. He is upset but says Monica can do what she wants. She feels he neglects her, but he says he is studying for a better job. They argue, and she cries. He asks how many men she had while he was gone. She says he can beat her, and he does a little. She gets dressed and goes out.

         Harry thanks his aunt for taking care of little Monika, and he carries the baby, remembering his summer with Monika.

         This is a realistic romantic drama about the pleasures of young love and the difficult adjustment young people need to make to become responsible parents.

Copyright © 2009 by Sanderson Beck

Movie Mirrors Index

BECK index