Friday, August 14, 2009

My Two-Cents on (500) Days of Summer

Apparently, I was wrong and (500) Days of Summer did make it to my hicksville of a town, which I'm still surprised about since we never get any good indie flicks here, and of course I had to check it out.

My initial thought was, that was a pretty good movie. It was far less quirky than I originally expected, but that doesn't mean that it wasn't inventive. Marc Webb was able to re-tell a commonplace story with a unique style and voice (the dance number alone was worth the price of admission). It didn't hurt that he had a very witty script with some great subtle comedy. In fact the humor was so subtle at times that I was the only person laughing.

Also, it had some well-crafted characters, especially Tom Hansen (brilliantly played by Joseph Gordon-Levitt). On the surface Tom isn't anyone spectacular, which is why he's such a great character...you can relate to him. One of the reasons I was captivated by this film was because I recognized every misstep that Tom was about to make because I made them myself.

Zooey Deschanel held her own too as the titular Summer, although she didn't stray too far from the cute, quirky love interest character that is usually found in these offbeat rom-coms. It would have been nice if her character was fleshed out a bit more, but then again this movie is about Tom rather than Summer, and not completely knowing her makes us sympathize with him even more since he really doesn't totally understand her either.

While I really, really liked this film, it did have one flaw. It was just a tad bit too long, and had it trimmed out about 10-15 minutes it would have been close to perfect. By the time we get to the final park scene, and Summer explains why she did what she did, I was emotionally spent, and the revelation was kind of anti-climactic. Had we gotten to that scene earlier, it would have played brilliantly.

So, (500) Days of Summer was not perfect, but it was highly entertaining, smart without being condescending, and most importantly it was a story many of us can relate to. I wouldn't be surprised if it joins the Hipster Film Hall of Fame alongside Garden State and Juno, which is not a bad thing by any means.

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