Tuesday, December 22, 2009

superfluous and belated movie review of the month (and probably year): (500) days of summer

i fully expected to hate this movie and i highly doubt i would've even bothered to watch it were it not showing on my flight. so i suppose you have to take some of my positive impressions with a grain of salt, since i tend to have irrationally exuberant feelings about any movie watched on a plane. except the pianist--don't ever watch a movie about the holocaust before a vacation. it's a downer.

(500) days of summer begins with a despondent joseph gordon-levitt (aka that kid from 3rd rock from the sun), lamenting to his friends about the demise of his relationship with zooey deschanel. not exactly a spoiler to disclose that, i don't think. then the movie backtracks to follow--rather jaggedly--the arc of their relationship. i enjoyed this movie--it was light, very entertaining and just clever/gimmicky enough. the "falling in love" montage was one of the better i've seen in, urgh, a romantic comedy. the movie does justice to the absurd highs and equally ridonculous lows of infatuation and the mental shuffle we all engage in postmortem.

a few reviewers complained about how thinly drawn zooey deschanel's character was and how she barely seemed worthy of all this devotion. but isn't that always the case in movies? like who knows why lloyd dobler was so obsessed with diane court, aside from the fact that she's the valedictorian "trapped in the body of a game show hostess?" she didn't have much of a personality, as far as anyone could tell. i didn't know anyone like diane court, but i definitely knew girls like summer--irrepressibly cute, looks good in wide-legged and high-waisted pants (a lethal combo for most anyone over 100 lbs), just hot enough to draw guys in and just cold enough to keep them wanting more, emotionally detached, inscrutable, etc. in other words, every emaciated hipster dude's dream girl.

in summary, if this movie happens to be offered on your flight somewhere and you have 90 minutes to kill (which you presumably do if you're flying), i recommend you watch it. you won't regret it!

[will try to post a photo laterz...]


cold4thestreets said...

Wait, why are you giving all the credit to the in-flight entertainment options? Didn't I urge you to watch this movie and opine?

Here's my bottom line:

1) Zooey is poorly drawn, by design, because this is a movie about the boy, his irrational exuberance, ensuing sense of loss, and attempt at moving on. The girl is an object, because he cannot see her for whom she is. This is not a defense of the film's structure, but it's worth noting. Still, she does something near the end of the movie that made no sense to me, and which I thought was uncharacteristically mean, and cannot be explained away by what I just said (since she actually does it--not appearing to do it in his eyes).

2) I don't know if we are doing "best of" lists with the blog, but the "You Make Me Feel" musical number was the best part of any film I saw this year.

E said...

i hate to admit it, but your recommendation made me shy away from even the in-flight entertainment options.

i will not create a best of list bc (a) i've not watched enough movies to justify having one and (b) i inevitably will reflect upon my choices and regret all of them.

but yes, hall & oates = glorious.

cold4thestreets said...

E, I don't think I recommended the movie to you. I think I said you should watch it and tell me your thoughts. I know better than to actually let you in on my thoughts. Perhaps my secret love of Zooey betrayed itself, however. Anyway, positive or negative, I am glad to see that my influence is felt.

E said...

well, before you pat yourself too heavily on your back, i figured you'd like this movie, mostly bc i hated it instantly upon seeing its too cute-sy preview and the fact that we've managed to disagree on virtually every movie ever made, aside from the genius that is tina fey and mean girls.