500 Days of Summer

I could write a long review about the movie (which I no doubt will),but if you're looking for a summary-look no further than its tagline: This is not a love story. This is a story about love.

I have an issue with the lead actor,Joseph Gordon-Levitt: who's made a name from little-known,but critically-acclaimed movies such as Brick,Mysterious Skin and The-Lookout.His resume extends much further,but its especially in those three he exhibits the bravura that has gained him a sizeable fanbase: the subject matter's taboo/hard to face (prostitution, paedophilia, rape,mental disability),these socially stigmatized characters are difficult to play sensitively and the task of which usually demands a grand emotional meltdown in the climax scene.So to the indie genre,he's some sort of savior.The thing is,he's an awful actor.His acting is stiff and terribly unnatural: even the simplest things like reaching out for a piece of toast or surveying left-right for empty seats in a train he does it so rigidly,every facial expression seems robotic as if there are buttons pressed to exert the right one:and in 500 Days of Summer where Zooey Deschanel is so terrifically light and graceful and scenes segue beautifully into each other with songs that would normally seem lost and overly hipsterish but in here feel just right,Joseph Gorden-Levitt is a giant bump in the flow.

The rest of it,cheesy things like couple shopping in IKEA and kissing by the copy machine tend to irk me.Not only because these things feel like they belong in a tasteless Katherine Heigl romcom,but because I don't think the office environment makes for a good setting for romance.The film's quite limited in that sense,we've got one pub and a park or two and the rest runs indoors in recurring places like the bland office and even blander apartments.The dialogue doesn't run deep,merely just dabbles in shallow talk about life,love and all that triteness but if they were to expand it into a full-blown,heart-to-heart discussion I would've been bored to tears.

To be honest,I hated a good half of the movie but if I take a few steps back,and view how it fits into the overall picture,I actually kinda like it.The story shifts back and forth in time,and doesn't end up a complete mess.Things first seem quite cliched,but eventually unfold to be more complex and appreciable.With any on-screen breakup we're usually subjected to one person being the victim,and the other predator: this film offers perspective: while Tom believed he was dealing with something special,Summer was perfectly indifferent.It shows the before,during and after of a relationship that was doomed from the start.

Lastly,I think they could've done better if the last two scenes were cut.I won't spoil it,but keyword: Autumn reroutes the whole movie.I understand having a more optimistic,brighter ending leads to better box office performance but without the last 15 minutes 500 Days of Summer could've spoken a bit less,but meant much more.


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