Thursday, July 30, 2009

At The Movies: (500) Days of Summer

Last night, Liz, my new roommate Danielle and I ventured to see (500) Days of Summer. As I told Liz before we saw it, "I've heard Zooey is another Manic Pixie Dream Girl (thanks McGone!) and Joseph Gordon-Levitt is the new Lloyd Dobler...the combination of which already makes it my favorite Rom-Com ever." That statement proved sorta true and mostly not.

As everyone knows from the preview, (500) Days of Summer is "not a love story, but a story about love." Really, it's about what happens when there is an imbalance of emotion between two people. Tom (Joseph Gordon-Levitt) is a romantic. He falls in love with Summer (Zooey Deschanel) who doesn't believe in love. She's one of those women men are drawn to for somewhat inexplicable reasons (other than being incredibly beautiful, obvs) and Tom is convinced she's "The One." However, Summer is very upfront with Tom, telling him she's not looking for anything serious, while sending mixed signals like planting the first kiss and taking him to bed. They have good times and bad times, she breaks up with him and he wants her back. You know...the usual.

The genius of (500) DoS is, well, several things. First, Joseph Gordon-Levitt is kind of a new Lloyd Dobler. He will be remembered and loved by women for this role probably for the rest of his career. He's charming and funny and gorgeous and really wonderful (I'll take one in every color, please). Also great are Geoffrey Arend (aka the future Mr. Christina Hendricks (lucky bastard), though he's probably best known as the guy who eats the bag of pot in Super Troopers) as Tom's hilarious friend and Chloe Moretz as Tom's straight talking litter sister. The film is cleverly told, jumping back and forth in time, incorporating animation and music and homages to Swedish cinema. Then there's just the truth in the story. I can't imagine anyone over 25 hasn't experienced this type of relationship, possibly from both sides. The feeling someone is so right for you, if only they could see and feel it, too. The blindness to someone's flaws due to hyperfocus on making them happy. And even the pain of knowing someone loves you so much and you just don't feel the same. Universiality in love and loss...or something.

The only element that kept me from really loving (500) DoS, and finding it on my all time list with Eternal Sunshine and Say Anything, is Zooey Deschanel. Now, I am a huge Zooey fan, but I think her talents lie more in supporting characters and love interests who are secondary to the story (a la Elf). Anytime she has to help carry a film, she's less effective. Sure, she's gorgeous, but she's almost too quirky to be emotionally believable.

So, go see (500) Days of Summer. Enjoy the storytelling, relive that time you had your heart broken by "The One," and fall in love with Joseph Gordon-Levitt.

P.S. Fellas - Former skeeze Layla Garrity (aka Minka Kelly) is in it, too. You know, if that's something you'd be interested in.


Liz said...

I love how you managed to work Christina Hendricks into this. Your girl crush is careening into Weird Town ;-)

I also loved the "Seventh Seal" reference in this movie. That movie effected me way more than a 1950s Swedish film about the Black Death should have

Jon said...

No time to comment; I'm off to kill Geoffrey Arend. Although for legal purposes, let's pretend I'm just going to sort through his mail or something.

BeckEye said...

I'd rather not relive the time I had my heart broken by "The One," but I do love to look at Zooey Deschanel. If that puts me in Girl Crush Weird Town, then perhaps you and I should meet up for a scone.

There's a "Seventh Seal" reference? Is it about the part where Michael Biehn makes the pun about The Guf being a lot of guff? I still love that, even if that movie is pretty stupid.

red said...

I think you're thinking of another movie, Becks. I'm pretty sure Michael Biehn isn't in Seventh Seal. It was made in 1957.

McGone said...

I turned to The Girl the other night and said "I WILL be seeing this movie," which was a statement that didn't even need to be made because of the Zooey Deschanel factor. But to assure her it wasn't just due to the Zooey crush I said it was also because I've had an affection for Joseph Gordon-Levitt ever since "Brick." I shot right over reassuring and went straight to creepy.

Minka Kelly AND Zooey Deschanel in the same movie. Homina. If you tell me there's a pillow fight I'll have a new Favorite Movie Ever.