Summer's Over Before it's Begun

Jacqueline Bisset in End of Summer (1997)

Each year the artistic Christine Van Buren (Jacqueline Bisset) heads to Saratoga for her annual holiday, to the same hotel where she sees the same people. But this year when she books in she is shocked to discover Theo Remmington (Peter Weller) is staying there who 20 years earlier had shown interest is Christine only for her to reject him and regret it ever since. Also staying in Saratoga is Rev. Basil March (Julian Sands) an unusual man of a cloth who seduces women and getting them pregnant. But then the man eating Alice (Amy Locane) arrives in Saratoga and sets about getting what ever man she wants no matter who it hurts.

Let me describe a scene from "End of Summer"; Christine is with other guests doing some archery as she picks up a bow and arrow Theo comes up behind her, placing his hands on her hips to place them, his face up against hers and you can see Christine's lower lip quiver being so close to the man she has regretted rejecting for 20 years. That scenes comes relatively early on and does two things, suggest that not only are we in for a drama about rekindled love but one which could get steamy, it had that sense of eroticism about it. Now in truth period piece eroticism is not my cup of tea but the sensuality of that scene interested me.

Peter Weller in End of Summer (1997)

Unfortunately then after that we have two things which happen; the first is the realisation that Rev. March is a womanizer. Now there is nothing wrong with that but sadly Julian Sands performance as the Rev. is so over the top it is painful to watch let alone listen to. But then we also have the introduction of Alice who has shown up to study under Christine but is a man eater and will do anything to seduce her man. I don't need to go in to detail but it turns this period drama into something else and something which lacks credibility.

Now I have already mentioned the performance of Sands who goes too over the top for my liking but his performance is not the only over the top one as there are others. But the performance from Jacqueline Bisset as a spinster is good, yes the naivety of some of the dialogue she has is painful but she sells the nervous romance part of the story. At the same time Peter Weller does the handsome lover perfectly.

What this all boils down to is that "End of Summer" starts well but then goes off on a tangent which didn't do it for me as it forces the eroticism side of the drama. Maybe those who are bigger fans of period dramas will enjoy it more as it certainly has the look.

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