A and A's Movie A Day

Watching movies until we run out.

(500) Days of Summer

Oh. My. Ghod! Movie number 500 tonight!

July 13, 2011

(500) Days of Summer

Do you know what I enjoy? I enjoy quirky romantic dramedies. I enjoy non-linear storytelling. I enjoy Joseph Gordon-Lovett and Zooey Deschanel. In short – I enjoy movies like this.

Probably what I liked most about this movie was that it did such a great job defying my expectations. There are certain things that one assumes will be true in a romantic comedy about a boy and girl getting together, and even though the opening narration for this movie states outright that this is not a love story I found myself still trying to figure out how the inevitable happy ending was going to come about. I liked that this movie had the strength to tell what feels both like an honest story about what happens when a relationship doesn’t work and a tale of romantic possibilities.

This is the story of Tom, who still believes in true love and soul mates, and Summer, who is too young and beautiful to be as bitingly cynical as she actually is. It’s about how they briefly had a wonderful thing going and about what went wrong.

We know that something went wrong because the movie is sort of told from both ends. Early on in the movie we see things falling apart. We see the sad attempts to re-live happier moments before we get to see the happier moments that they’re references to. It lends a sense of pre-ordained tragedy to the movie that we know how things are going to end up – with Tom smashing plates in disconsolate misery. Even so, that’s around day 400, and we know there’s 500 days, so maybe in spite of the opening there is hope for this couple.

This movie is kind of about hope. The undying hope of that hopeless romantic Tom in the face of Summer’s assertion that love doesn’t actually exist. She repeatedly tells him she wants just to be friends, but confuses things by kissing him in the copy room and lying naked in his bed. She’s interested just in having a good time without assigning any labels to it. (Says Tom’s eccentric pal and co-worker McKenzie “Oh, my god, she’s a dude!”)

We mostly see events from Tom’s perspective, which means we get to meet his friends McKenzie (who hasn’t had a girlfriend in years) and Paul (who has had the same girl since grade school) and his awesome and wise far beyond her years sister Alison. They all try to help him as best they can, but he’s caught up in his own issues.

This was exactly the kind of quirky fun movie I thought it was going to be. I will admit that it went to some darker places than I had anticipated, but I appreciated that as well. It reminded me a lot of Amelie – a magical tale of romance, only with a more cynical core. I was tempted, once we were done watching it, to put in Closer as a follow-up, that also being a dramedy with a strange attitude towards the passing of time, but I knew that would just depress me. As it was this was the perfect 500th movie for our daily project.

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July 13, 2011 - Posted by | daily reviews | , , , ,

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