This in-between posts post is to do a review of 500 Days of Summer.
Maybe I should start a different blog for things like this, but oh well.
This movie was beautifully done. The artistic liberties were great. There is a scene in which they juxtapose his emotional state with the “destruction” of his blossoming artistic expression. The film does a similar thing using a black and white avant-garde technique. Not to mention “the dance”.
I think I have been vague enough that if you’ve seen the film you will appreciate what I’ve written. If you haven’t, you’ve lost nothing.
It’s hard to explain how I feel about the plot without “spoilers” so . . .
No really, it’s coming.
Alright, so the movie is hilarious, tragic, romantic, and heart-breaking all at the same time. The film sets you up for a tragedy. They try to warn you. Did I really pay attention? No.
We have two characters.
Tom: He believes, due to circumstances in his formative years, that true love and fate work together to make the world turn. They exist, and until they find a person, that person will never be complete.
Summer: She believes, due to different but not unrelated circumstances, that true love is a myth and a fairy tale and that there is no point in trying to find soul mates.
Naturally, they end up together.
Tom and Summer have a relationship that at some point will remind you of a relationship you’ve had. Whether you are Tom or Summer. I have definitely been both. In fact, one unsavory relationship of mine started with me being Tom and ending up as Summer. Really strange. Anyway, the relationship is beautiful in the beginning. They laugh at each other, they have fun, they are both energized and alive. Nonetheless, the film constantly reminds you that everything gold will not stay. A technique that I was impressed with. The time line is broken and goes back and forth through the relationship’s beginning, middle, and end seamlessly.
The film’s soundtrack is great as well. You’ve got the 60s covered with Simon and Garfunkel, Hall & Oates grab the 70s, The Smiths (arguably the cause of the catastrophe and definitely the catalyst) take care of the 80s, and we are gently soothed by the indie-pop sounds of the time: Regina Spektor, Feist (who has been around for awhile now), The Temper Trap, and Wolfmother.
Now, I am going to do what the film does. I believe I have successfully made you fall in love with the film.
THE BAD NEWS and this is where the real spoiler begins.
The film kinda’ lies to you. It says it is not a love story. It leads you to believe being hopelessly romantic is no better than being hopelessly cynical. AND THEN!!! It turns on you!
Now back to my glowing review.
It only slightly turns on you.
I believe that the film is saying simply, “love happens”
Sometimes it does, and other times it doesn’t. Trying to rely on fate to determine whether you’re in love won’t work. Deciding that you are NOT going to fall in love won’t work. Love hits you whether you like it or not at anytime anywhere.
Which is nice and cute and TOTALLY kitsch, but somehow it doesn’t take away from the film’s beauty and charm.
Zooey Deschanel is always beautiful and easy to fall in love with.
Joseph Gordon-Levitt plays a great neurotic. I have liked him since 3rd Rock from the Sun.
My review? A-
The movie gets the minus because it does kind of trick you, but it was highly enjoyable.
I highly recommend this movie.
– Brandon Holly –
p.s. – since I’m on a “movie about love” kick check out this! Paper Heart is another movie about love. It’s part documentary, part . . . not a documentary? Anyway, click on the MASH game and have fun! It will take you back to Middle School, I promise!