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500 Days of Summer

OK disclaimer 1 – this is not a review, merely thoughts on the film. Disclaimer 2 – I generally tend to like movies more often than I hate them. I’m not really a very critical movie critic. My general rule of thumb is, if a movie makes me think or makes me feel something, be it anger, fear, euphoria, happiness, sadness, love, etc. (there’s always too many adjectives to really be adequate to describe emotions of course) then it’s a good movie. However if I feel boredom & disgust (thank you Michael Bay and Transformers 2) then it’s probably not a good movie.

Having said that, I’m not generally a huge fan of rom-coms. I mean I’m a guy, right? So I’m fairly typical in that sense. Don’t get me wrong, I’m definitely a romantic (as well as a cynic) but I just don’t like the formulaic nature of rom-coms. In fact this film is the third rom-com in history I can say that I like, the other two being Garden State & Love Actually. So I guess that’s more of a big thing.

Anyway the film sort of takes after Garden State (and even a touch of Amelie somehow) in some respects. I mean it has the whole, quirky loner who doesn’t fit in falling for the girl that seems special/different, etc. There’s also the mass of pop culture references, mostly to cool indie bands/things (ie. The Smiths, Carla Bruni playing in the car, The Graduate, etc.) and other random cultural references too (De Botton, Dorian Gray, ‘bananafish‘ which is a reference to a reasonably obscure JD Salinger short story which I happen to love).

Those cultural references are part of the reason why this film appeals to me (even though I know this is probably straight out of ‘Stuff White People Like‘ but what can ya do). But I have to say the coolest thing about the film is the screenplay. I’m not going to pretend that I’m a good movie critic, I have no idea how well executed it was by Joseph Gordon-Levitt & Zooey Deschanel, but the screenplay itself was really awesome. The dialogue and the lines of thought, the whole concept of the romantic loner who reads Salinger & De Botton and listens to indie music, well yeah I could kinda relate. I could also relate to the views on love, fate & coincidence, etc. Did I mention the film was well shot by the way? Did I mention the literary references? Ok seriously how can I not love a film in which the main character reads De Botton and refers to Salinger short stories.

Oh yeah and much like Garden State, sountrack = awesome, including the likes of Regina Spektor (who I still am not sure how I feel about, but her music’s great), The Smiths, Carla Bruni, Doves, etc. But yeah enough rambling from me. I’ll be listening to the songs for a while and musing about life.

For some added interest my facebook status about the film generated some amateur reviewing, so for your reading pleasure:

Shaz:

Personally, other than a few very clever scenes (expectation vs reality – classic), I felt it didn’t live up to the hype. I love Gordon-Levitt, but Zooey Deschanel was more memorable in all her10 minutes in Almost Famous.

I dunno. That movie was just okay, for me. Not another Garden State, or anything.

Muna:

aahh..I agree with shez to an extent, it had its moments and i loved the non-linear depiction of events..awesome soundtrack, and definitely a refreshing change from those romcoms with Katherine Heigl/Kate Hudson in them..:) ooo I can’t wait to watch Mao’s Last Dancer..

Frances:

i’d rate: 3.5/5
it lacked character development on Zooey’s part- she was too much of an object, not enough of a person. If I was meant to hate her, I didn’t enough. Loved the sketched scene.
Thought it was a cross between Prime and Eternal Sunshine (etc). Thought the trailer was misleading. Waiting for Dorian Gray.

So there you have it folks, disagreements aplenty but I don’t care much for hype or whatevs. I loved the film.

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