David Lean's 1955 film Summertime is a quaint piece of work. Much of it is also sentimental, cliched and full of Touristic aesthetic which mars much of his later work. Okay, that last comment might be a little unfair because the central character played Katharine Hepburn is actually an American tourist visiting that most typical of all tourist destinations - Venice. But still, quite a few times David Lean's camera seems more interested in capturing the cliched surface beauties of Venice rather than exploring the moods and inner feelings of the characters. In the few scenes that he does this, like the scene pictured at the top where she sits alone in the Palazzo while everybody else in the crowd seems to have some companion, are absolutely masterly and are extremely evocative.
Of course most of the credit goes to Katharine Hepburn who is (as always) in her elements playing the kind of she has played so many times in her career. No matter how many times you have see it, it is still magical to see how she portrays the process of falling in love, with all its awkwardness, petty humiliations and beauty and sorrow. It is because of her performance that the thin and stereotypical nature of the plot doesn't really matter. (After all we hardly need another film to tell us how sexy and romantic these Italians are and how hopelessly dull and repressed rest of us!) I love David Lean's early films a lot specially Brief Encounter, which must be somewhere at the top of my favourite romantic films of all time. This isn't in the same league but close enough.