Saturday, February 5, 2011

500 Days of Awkward Romance and Also The Smiths

I hate to be the elitist, douche-y "I liked blank better when it was called blank" type of person but guys, I finally watched 500 Days of Summer, and I liked it better when it was called Annie Hall.

To be fair, Jospeh Gordon-Levitt is a sight more attractive than Woody Allen

But seriously, 500 Days of Summer is modern-day, hipster version of the Woody Allen classic.

More like 500 Days of Sucking, amirite? ...Ok, it's not really that bad

So another in an increasingly long line of movies my boydudeperson is making me watch mildly against my will. It wasn't that I was against watching this movie, per se, I just wasn't terrible interested in it. Without even watching it I could tell that Joseph Gordon-Levitt's character Tom was a moody little lovelorn sad sack who gets his world rocked by the flighty, flaky and all around indie-tacular Summer, played by America's favorite goggle-eyed bobble-head, Zooey Deschanel. They dive headlong into a relationship that is quirky and full of love and then quirky and full of hate and then no more. She cannot be tied down, he cannot get over her. And the something or other happens, roll credits.

I was mostly right.

The movie follows Tom, a wishful architect but actual greeting card writer and his relationship with Summer, who in all honesty is just Zooey Deschanel playing Zooey Deschanel like she does in every movie she's in. I mean, sometimes it works, sometimes it doesn't but it's always this same free-spirited, slightly loopy quirky chick. Even in Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy she managed to do this.

The robot is unimpressed with the fact that you collect Russian nesting dolls, drive a motor scooter and listen to Neutral Milk Hotel

But I'm getting off-topic. Anyway, the movie shows the 500 days of their quirky and awkward relationship out of order, switching smoothly between the puppy love phase and the "oh my god I hate you and will poop on your lawn" phase. It's an interesting angle, contrasting the early good times with the crushing bad ones. Also fun are Tom's friends but mostly Rachel, Tom's sister and general romantic counselor who coaches him through his relationship decisions...and is ten years old. Chloe Moretz, better known as Hitgirl plays Rachel and dammit, I love that kid. She's funny as hell. Is there anyway she and Hailee Stienfeld from True Grit can make a movie together? Hooray for child actors that don't suck.

What was I talking about?

Oh yeah. So everything plays out predictably enough and there are some pretty cute moments, Tom's post-sex victory dance among them:

And the cinematography is clever as well, there's a great side-by-side comparison scene of what Tom expects will happen at a party he goes to reconcile with Summer and what actually happens. So, I mean, it's not a bad movie by any means. It's just not original, not fresh and not very easy to get emotionally invested in. Tom's a weenie and Summer is a mixed-signal-sending pain in the ass, quirkiness be damned.

I am calling your wacky indie-alternative ass out! WHATCHU GONNA DO ABOUT IT?

So yeah, in the end 500 Days of Summer is a clever, if predictable look at relationships and middle-class white twenty-somethings with problems. Sweet soundtrack though. Three Smiths out of five.

This is Sugary Cynic saying "I'd have dumped her ass by day 12" 'Night!

(First text in the movie)

"Author's Note: The following is a work of fiction. Any resemblance to persons living or dead is purely coincidental. Especially you Jenny Beckman. Bitch"


  1. you lost me with the movie "500 something", not one for me, but won me back when i discoverd (thank you) that the gorgeous hitch-hikers heroine is zooey deschanel - mmm thank you . big fan of douglas adams as well :)

  2. would you believe discovered ..

  3. The Hitchhiker's Guide movie was an awful thing done to a wonderful thing, for reasons including but not limited to Zooey Deschanel. But I digress.

    I actually watched 500 Days of Summer last year, and when it got to the Spontaneous Musical scene, I had the oddest feeling that I'd run into the concept before:


  4. Good to know I'm not alone in this. My roommates adore this movie and while I thought parts of it were clever and cute (the loltacular dance sequence with birds that reminded me of that scene in Starsky and Hutch where Ben Stiller gets high), I couldn't stand the main characters.

    Can I fit in a "fucking hipsters" joke here?

  5. Megan,
    Thanks for the review, now I really have no desire to see 500 Days of Summer. lol I have never been a big fan of Woody Allen and Hipsters are on the same plane.
    Great story none the less :)

  6. I haven't seen 500 Days of Summer and I've called out hipsters many a time on my own blog. But I think I have to call shenanigans when you give Zooey Deschanel for playing the same character in every movie while Woody Allen playing Woody Allen in Annie Hall qualifies as a classic.

  7. Sometimes I fear JGL is a douchebag. I mean...can he just not talk unless I tell him to?

    Okay, so one of the friends is played by Matthew Gray Gubler, who's Sir Woobie on Criminal Minds, which is a show I watch, and you know what else is a show I watch? Misfits.


  8. i like 500 days of summer, but i also liked annie hall. and mostly i wanna dry hump with zooey deschanel.

  9. Weird coincidence I saw this on HBO last night. Also, if this were a bollywood movie the post-coitus dance scene would have lasted 3 hours!!!!

  10. Hello~! I watched the movie with my girlfriend...I think we liked it somewhat..
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  11. oh oh oh oh!! Chloe Moretz and Hailee Stienfeld in a movie! MAKE IT HAPPEN! But also with Elle Fanning, Dakota's adorable little sister who hasn't sullied herself with Twilight yet ^_^

  12. I liked "just Go With It" when it was "Cactus Flower" with Walter Matthau and Goldie Hawn...just saying.

  13. Awww i'm a big "500 Days of Summer" fan but I still haven't seen "Annie Hall" (heresy I know) so perhaps my perception is skewed?

    And I would love to see Moretz and Steinfeld in a movie together! And you know maybe we could throw Zooey Deschanel in there too. ;)

  14. Tbaoo: Well, then you may well like it because it is filled to the brim with Zooey Deschanel :p

    Whitewizard42: I LOVE QUESTIONABLE CONTENT!! Yet somehow I did not make the connection lol, thanks for rectifying that one

    Rachael: *high-five* and there is ALWAYS room for a laugh at the expense of those fucking hipsters

    Hal: Of course I do, it's in a jar on my desk, next to my paper-mache bust of Christian Bale

    Jessica: Not a fan of Woody Allen?! *expression of shock and appalledness*

    Grumpy: Oh he totally does do the same schtick in each movie, not denying that. What I'm saying is that Annie Hall did it *first* and in my own opinion, better.

    Simon: All good men are better with a roll of duct tape ;D and um...(hides) no?

    Morose: It's understandable.

    Ameer: YES! ...I'd watch it

    Stock and Such: Thanks for the comment/follow, I'll check out your blog for stocks...and stuff.

    Val: Elle Fanning is indeed adorable. Have you seen Phoebe in Wonderland? It's really good!

    Ron: Show those dang young people who's boss with your old references to films and such!

    Robert: I honestly really didn't mind it, but it gets so much love it's more fun to kick it around a bit >:)

  15. I have! last weekend, in fact, which is why her adorableness was still fresh in my memory lol

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