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Sunday, July 26, 2009

Cody's Film Review:(500) Days Of Summer

500 Days Of Summer is at times really original and at other times formulaic. It's a great debut for Marc Webb and the writers of Pink Panther 2. What really makes this film work is the impressive performances of Joseph Gorden-Levitt and Zooey Deschanel. They have great chemistry and the relationship seems real. Levitt's character acts like a normal person and doesn't follow the usual romantic comedy conventions. He is very likable, has realistic reactions and doesn't fall every five minutes or act like a buffoon. Zooey is great because her character is not a bitch and you never fault her for her decisions. She is cute as a button and has a great personality,so you understand why he falls for her. This movie falters when Zooey and Levitt are not on screen. The entire supporting cast brings nothing to the table. They don't provide comic relief, forward the story, or even apply descent acting.Here is a run down of the supporting cast and why they don't work.Geoffrey Arend plays a drunk and lonely friend who is not funny,and his only contribution is he tells Zooey that Levitt likes her. Arend is the best of the supporting cast, but fails to turn in what could have been the best character.Think of Alec Baldwin in She's Having A Baby or Jim Belushi in The Man With One Red Shoe,and you will know what I'm talking about. Matt Gubler is a married friend who provides no advice of any kind,and seems to struggle with the art of acting.Clark Gregg is Levitt's boss who tries to provide comic relief,but every joke he delivers you see a mile away. The worse is 12 year old actress Chloe Moretz who is the most annoying cliche in film. She is the typical younger sister giving relationship advice, and is the poor child surrounded by moronic adults. Kids ten times smarter than adults does nothing but make me mad.It has been done a million times and is insulting. If you want to find out a Jonas Brothers hit or what Hannah Montana thinks the best soda is, ask a 12 year old. I was shocked how at times the story and acting was flawless followed by conventional and tired cliches. I recommend this film for the two leads who get absolutely no help from the supporting cast, but you do walk away with some nice moments. 3 out of 5 stars


  1. Coco nailed it about Joseph Gordon Levitt, but missed the mark on Zooey. Her character has about as much depth as Betty Childs in Revenge of the Nerds or Phoebe Cates in Fast Times. You could say that Summer is like that on purpose, the fact that she’s an elusive object of affection means she has to be unknowable, but you’d be wrong. A movie about falling for the wrong girl doesn’t mean you have to make her a total shell. Everything about their 500 days spent together is superficial, generalized and summarized—which I guess is what you get when your movie is an endless string of montages within other montages. You never get a sense of why Levitt would fall so hard for her beyond the fact that she’s cute and spunky, dresses well and has good taste in music.

    Actually, everything Coco said about Away We Go actually applies to this movie—cartoon supporting cast, overly quirky tone—but Away We Go is actually much better, less so Nora Ephron for hipsters. I’m not sure what Coco’s hard-on for Mendes is all about, since Mendes’s supposed exposes of the suburbs are about as ballsy as an episode of Roseanne. Away We Go isn’t great, but it’s not hopeless and archly glib like his other movies about family and settling down, American Beauty and Revolutionary Road.

    No question Coco is right on about the cartoon supporting cast and annoying indie soundtrack, but at least Away We Go doesn’t say that its fuck-up couple is doomed to loveless, hate-filled marriages where only death is a better option. With Away We Go I think it finally occurred to Mendes that he’s hitched to one of the hottest racks of lamb on the planet and that maybe he doesn’t have so much to complain about, but that love and matrimony is still difficult, hard work, a forever open-ended question, neither a road to misery nor the naïve quest for true love at first sight.

    But 500 Days of Summer is just a rom-com like any other, pretending for awhile not to believe in shit like true love and fate, but in the end just another gay Kate Hudson movie, with maybe the worst groan-inducing last lines of the year.

  2. Andy,Marc Webb has done nothing but music videos and Mendes has done some quality stuff,so I went into this film differently. Sometimes a cute girl with great taste in clothes and music has made us all act like a bunch of cry babies bitches. I'm not saying she is not just a shell,but being cute and out of your league is enough to become infatuated when your young. Away We Go had a bad supporting cast also,but they had a lot more screen time,so I thought it was a worse film. And 500 Days is different than a Hudson/McConehate movie.

  3. yeah that's true I guess it boils down to expectations, in general, I forget how much that can affect how you watch a movie.

    I mean, I'm not a big fan of Mendes, and so went into his movie with kind of low expectations, and when I saw 500 Days I went in with a little more than neutral expectations, since I had no opinion of this Webb dude and word on the street was that the movie was ok.

    So when the Mendes movie didn't have a cloying Thomas Newman soundtrack and wasn't about how the suburbs make you want to die, I was pleasantly surprised, but when I realized that 500 Days had the same hangups as the average rom-com (fate, the one true love, that bullshit) I was like, this is bullshit.

    Good point though about us all at one time losin our shit about bitches that are out of our league, though just because I've been there, I don't know if that on it's own deserves its own movie--a montage or two maybe, but not a movie full of them.