Sunday, September 20, 2009

(500) Days of Summer

Summer, the one mentioned in the title of (500) Days of Summer, is a woman who enters into a relationship with Tom. Tom believes in true love, maybe even love-at-first-sight. Summer doesn't. We know from the very beginning of this film that the affair will end badly, and end after 500 days.

Actually, we see this film through Tom's lovelorn eyes. We watch their passion blossom, we watch it bloom further, and then we see it slowly disintegrate as their communication wanes and she floats away. We see this, however, not in a lucid, chronological way but in Memorex kind of way, his memories, not terribly in order. It's not confusing, because each day is labeled Day 150, or somesuch, and we know exactly where we are by the look on Tom's face.

I found this movie terribly compelling even though it's got to end terribly. I mean, don't you want to know how a loving relationship falls apart? How such different people find each other, and the differences force them apart after time. And it's funny. One humorous moment is when Tom recalls how beautiful Summer was the first time he saw her: her hair, her perfect skin, etc. And then, a few minutes later, obviously later in the relationship, he tells us how ugly she is, her hair in an old hippie haircut, and on and on, almost as if he's trying to talk himself out of the relationship. She's already gone on, moved on, so he'd better.

By the way, for those of you who hate depressing movies, I found the ending quite inspiring and very pleasing.

Joseph Gordon-Levitt and Zooey Deschanel. It's hard to tell you anything you don't know about them, just that they're two of the most talented actors in present day. In (500) Days of Summer, they each effectively showed, as the film jumped around from day to day, where each character was in the relationship, the awkwardness of first getting together, and then the awkwardness of being at different places in the relationship as it's ending. I'm finding that I can't miss anything Gordon-Levitt has or will do, he's that good. And Deschanel has been in some terrible products (think the TV version of The Wizard of Oz), but she has always risen above. Here's hoping both of them will appear together in future projects.

Thumb's up.


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