January 7, 2010

I finally watched (500) Days of Summer. This movie has been at the top of my indie movies to see for a while. The reviews were good, people loved it, and I love Joseph Gordon-Levitt and Zooey Deschanel. And in the end, it has all the good parts of indie movies – good soundtrack, uniquely good-looking characters, mixed in art (musical dance scene and illustration), and overall nice design.

Anyways, I guess I wasn’t sure what to expect. Love story? Maybe. Except I’d heard that first line, the one that says “This is a story of boy meets girl. But you should know up front, this is not a love story”. That pretty much cleared it up. But what else can you expect from a story about a boy and a girl doing cutesy stuff? And, given how much people loved this film, I was expecting something different. Maybe this would be the movie that challenges When Harry Met Sally. It would prove that boys and girls can be friends. Then again, maybe I wasn’t expecting anything.

And in the end, the movie was good but not new. I liked the non-linear storyline. And it felt a lot like the early parts of Kiss Kiss Bang Bang. But it was the same old story from every chick flick I’ve ever seen. Except this time, the boy was the girl – neurotic, clingy, sentimental – and the girl was the boy – casual, indifferent, charming. The only thing that saved Summer from being a jerk was the circling back to the fact that you can’t put your finger on what love is – it just happens. The other difference was that it’s not a happily ever after ending, which they warn you about in that first line. No surprises; you’re sitting through the entire movie waiting for their relationship to go south. I guess I don’t understand the whole life-changing, “I’m better now that it’s over” relationship thing. Call me ridiculous, but I’d rather have that fairytale romance.

Plus, I just can’t get over two things. First, all girls have to love Joseph Gordon-Levitt in this movie because he, as a male, is playing a part that’s almost exactly how we – as females – feel. Second, I’m tired of the Manic Pixie Dream Girl character. It could be that I’m jealous that I’m not her. But more importantly, if this was real life, let’s not kid ourselves, she’d be a crazy loon. Are these characters made purely for strange women to feel better about themselves? Something similar to having a slightly awkward or ugly female lead, so all the awkward, ugly females in the audience can relate. Or do guys really want a girl like that? I feel like girls are complicated enough. The quirky girl with the straight-laced guy, she’s going to get bored and move on. Exactly like in 500 Days of Summer. She’s gonna break your heart.



  1. I think that JGL’s feminine traits in this movie are precisely why I hated his character so much. The irrational belief in fairy tale love and his complete, utter breakdown in the face of the breakup are just unbearable to watch. That scene where he quits the card company? All I could think was “My god that guy’s an asshole…” Same thing with the blind date he got set up on where he was a total jerk.

    Summer was the true sympathetic character in this whole thing. She was direct, didn’t fool around or try to power play, and she delivered precisely on everything she said she would. As far as being a crazy loon, she sure seemed a lot more grounded in reality than JGL, but maybe that’s just me.

  2. 500 days of Summer and the girl’s name is Summer. I see what they did there… clever… q;o)

    As far as your last paragraph – DO all girls have to love his character? Everything every girl has ever told me and that I’ve ever seen my friends experience is that girls hate soppy girly guys. If they wanted a girly man, they’d be lesbians. Especially because it’s been proven biologically that at certain times of the month, women crave the “bad boy” strong man type. So I’d think they’d be put off by his girly ways and say, “man up. Summer’s got more balls than you.”

    • Ah, I didn’t mean love in the sense that we would want to date his character. I meant love in the “oh my god, I know exactly how he feels” sense; the “best friend who totally understands” sense. But you’re right, I don’t think any girl would actually want to date that person.

  3. Totally shouldn’t have read this(and the comments) before I saw the movie. Maybe I’ll watch it on the plane today if I can’t fall asleep(Ha! I know right?)

    • Don’t be ridiculous, why would you fall asleep on the plane?

    • I thought you saw the movie already!

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