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(500) Days of Summer (2009)

by on 2011/02/03


“Friends, my balls.”

* * * *

Though I hate to believe I’ve shared in his failings, I felt a discomfiting kinship with (500) Days’ Tom (Inception’s Joseph Gordon-Levitt).  As familiar with Small Wonder as Knight Rider, he spends stretches of his life clad in a black Unknown Pleasures shirt, revisiting old vantage points, scribbling madly.  Despite forays into The Clash and The Pixies, his true exuberance releases the spirit of Hall & Oates, and rogues we know shoot first.

* * * *

(500) Days of Summer is a bit like Fahrenheit 451, a measure by which hearts burn.  The tragedy, more than foreshadowed, is inevitable.  The interest lies in getting there.  The poignancy comes in its painful contrasts, happy glimpses standing in sharp relief against The End.

Who doesn’t arrange deck chairs on a honeymoon?

* * * *

Summer (Elf’s Zooey Deschanel) is more like a winter . . . radiant, yet unwarming, the bright star of a distant system.  She’s an inverted cliche, a cynical merc to the sensitive boy, never looking for anything serious.  Coquettish and coy, selfish and cool, she both feigns and exploits innocence, manipulating her way past his attentions.  Impossibly endearing, practically unpleasant, she’s an egocentric femme fatale, compelling, spellbinding, and utterly absent-minded.

* * * *

* * * *

The fantastic angst of CQ, the elation of Enchanted, the pursuit of Scott Pilgrim, the celebration of Ferris Bueller, and the dread of Titanic. . . (500) Days of Summer throws them all in a shredder, scattering their tangled remains in our way, an Eternal Sunshine for the reality set.

* * * *

I wasn’t able to meet Aimee Mann, and I wasn’t allowed to meet Alanis Morissette, however I did meet Tori Amos.  She might have been the smallest person in the HMV, but she was intimidating in her bemusement.  When I broke the tentative throng around her, she seemed to collapse in relief, and we spoke for quite a while.  Her last words to me were a reminder:  “There are always more stories.”  The hug ensured I wouldn’t forget.

Tom goes through a hell of a lot worse for pretty much the same lesson.

* * * *

(500) Days of Summer is exactly the geeky, non-Hollywood movie I was hoping for, even if it’s not quite the romance I’d hope for.  Perhaps one day I’ll revisit it and raise the rating but, for now, it may have things to teach me I’m not yet ready to learn.

* * * *

They caught me with the elevator scene.

Even if I hadn’t been party to a misunderstanding, even if I hadn’t signed up for a dating service, even if She hadn’t done the same, even if we hadn’t been matched up all over again, even if she hadn’t quoted The Smiths’ “There Is A Light That Never Goes Out” in her profile…

Well, who can resist the attentions of an icon, an ideal?

It could work out, right?

Sometimes it does.

* * * *

Rated PG13 for adult situations and language

95 minutes

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9 Comments
  1. Grushenka Geusebach permalink

    And in the darkened underpass
    I thought, Oh God, my chance has come at last
    But then a strange fear gripped me
    And I just couldn’t ask

    Yours,
    poe_ta

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