Sunday, August 1, 2010

Top 25 Movies of 2000s: 18 500 Days of Summer

The five best romantic comedites of all time are:
1. Annie Hall – The Casablanca of romantic comedies.
2. When Harry met Salley – Fake orgasm, Wagon Wheel Coffee table, Don’t Fuck with Mr. Zero
3. Brother’s McMullen – if you have not heard of this truly independent movie check it out.
4. Say Anything/Singles – same director, same city, same cameos (Eric Stoltz and Jeremy Piven), both AMAZING soundtracks.
5. Love Actually was number five until I saw 500 Days of Summer.
500 Days of Summer has a horrible opening. It begins withteh Pixxy Queen Zoey Dechenl wearing an engagemnt ring and holding hands with Joseph Gordon Levitt on a park bench.. You think that this weill be a very formulic boy-meets-girl, get engaged and live happily ever after. That was a good movie 60 years ago, but now we have seen that movie 100 times. 500 Days does not fall into that very easy trap. 500 Days tells the story of Zoey, her character’s name is Summer, and Gordon-Levitt by examing the 500 days between when they first met until that day on the Park Bency.
500 Days benefits by not having a sequential story. By having the story told non-sequentially the same events; going to Ikea, specific jokes, eating pancakes and Karokee lead to radically different reactions from the characters based on their psycholigical and emotional status. These scnes also shwo the evolution of the caracters. The emotional growth/maturation of Zoey and Gordon-Levitt is very reflective of the changes we go through in our late 20s/early 30s. The removail of our social anx and the realization of what is truly importatn and, to blatently still from the great Chuck Palunk, “let the things that do not really matter truly slide.”
The film also benefits from having two brieltly creative scenes. The morning after they have sex for the first time (ARE YOU REALLY SURPRISED TWO PEOPLE IN THEIR 20S HAVE SEX IN A ROMANTIC COMEDY?), Gordon-Levitt goes home in the moring and his walk evolves to a dance scene played to Hall and Oats “You make my Dreams come True.” This shows exactly how e feels without saying a word.
The other creative scnee is where Gordon-Levitt goes to a party at Zoey/Summer’s house. The party is shown in split screne. On one side it shows how Gordon-Levitt hopes/invisions/prayed to all that is Holy that the party will go and the other side whows hot the party actually goes.
The two scnes show how Gordon-Levit feels about Zoey. The full ranges of utter joy (think being 5 years old and getting a puppy for Christmas) and pure anguish (everyone with a soul has had their heart ripped out).
This is a very good movie. It is like a real relationship. Good conversations. Great sex. Funny jokes. Dancing. Pain. An awkward wedding. Joy. Karokee and like all adult relationships a trip to IKEA.

p.s. This was a great movie for Joseph Gordon-Levitt. This with the previous year’s The Lookout (overlooked and underrated) show he is a force to be reckoned with…

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