The Night Out: 500 Days Of Summer (2009), or I Blame Zooey Deschanel For My Hatred Of All Romantic Comedies

12 08 2009

I just went to see the new romantic comedy 500 Days of Summer, if you couldn’t tell by the hilarious title, and I won’t get too in depth on this one, but let me point something out to you. If Joseph Gordon-Levitt, one of my favorite young actors in the industry, was not the star of this feature, I would not have enjoyed it very much. Why is that? Well, if you’ve seen the admittedly enticing trailer, you’ll know that Zooey Deschanel happens to be his co-star. I dislike Deschanel immensely, but I was willing to give her another chance after her lackluster performances in Elf, Bridge To Terabithia, and The Happening. Well, after tonight’s proceedings, I am no longer giving her the benefit of the doubt. She’s burned me too many times. She makes me ashamed to enjoy movies with her dual crutches of “quirky” and “off-beat” behavior. Her performance is so matter-of-fact and self-assured while the end result is so generic that it angers me when I pay to see her in theaters. Indie music street-cred notwithstanding, she is officially on Cinematronica’s Least Wanted List! Started back in June after Vin Diesel broke the camel’s back with Find Me Guilty, Zooey Deschanel becomes the third person to grace the list, as well as the first woman! I’m so glad equality between the sexes could happen in my lifetime! So now the list goes as follows:

1. Nicolas Cage!!!

2. Vin Diesel!!

3. Zooey Deschanel!

Hollywood underachievers aware! Nobody escapes this reviled list once they are on it without performing a considerable act of movie good-will! So get busy on some altruistic, life-affirming performances, you three!!!

The plot is all in the title. It’s all about the 500 days of a girl named Summer in the life of a young would-be architect named Tom. It recounts their first meeting, courtship, dating, break-up, and subsequent meeting in non-linear chronology. Tom is shown to be a caring, love-struck young man who feels he has found his one and only, while Summer is shown to be a raging bitch who has a fear of commitment. What happens to these two becomes a remarkable journey throughout a year and a half of ecstatic love and hurt feelings that is told with a beautiful yet casual precision.

Director Marc Webb is a music video director by trade, but now that nobody watches music videos anymore, he must have decided to switch careers, because this is his feature length debut. I’m impressed, and I want to see him do more with the movie medium. He tells the complicated story of a relationship in terms that are not simplified or dumbed-down. It is a powerful tale that sings loud and clear to anyone who has ever been in that hopeless situation of unrequited love and dead-end relationships. 500 Days of Summer has a warmth that arises from reality and a humor that arises from heartbreak, and while I don’t know much about Webb’s background, but I can infer that he probably had a similar experience that made him really jive with Michael H. Weber’s well-written script, because this film positively beams with empathy.

As previously stated, I love Joseph Gordon-Levitt. What a talent. I’ve followed his career since he was taking care of a gigantic St. Bernard in Beethoven. But, fortunately, as my tastes have matured, so have his, because he is now a full-fledged actor as far as this humble reviewer is concerned. I really felt for Tom here, Gordon-Levitt’s pathos-ridden protagonist. He’s someone who at a certain point feels out of place in modern relationships, much like the singers of the sappy New Romantics love songs he listens to (i.e. Morrissey and Doves). He wants what is in film and music; he wants the old-fashioned idea of L-O-V-E. It’s admirable, but it’s just too bad he falls for Zooey Deschanel.

URGH! If I talk about Deschanel too much, I’ll just get pissed. I’ll just say that she deadpans it (AGAIN), and she could’ve spoiled the movie for me if it weren’t for her co-star, so it ends up as kind of a moot point when at least one of them is good. 500 Days of Summer isn’t something you want to miss. Get out there and see it while you can; it’s one of the best romantic comedies I have seen in a long time. You might find yourself more emotionally involved than you were initially willing to be, but, just like love, you won’t be able to help yourself. I give it 8 least wanted actresses out of 10. Check it out!

I know I was supposed to review Gone With the Wind, but I couldn’t find time to squeeze it in! I promise I’ll get to it tomorrow, okay? Forgive me?!?!

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One response

18 05 2013
arena23

Great review! Brilliant vocabulary and tone 🙂
Check out mine! http://moviereviewsdirect.wordpress.com/2013/05/18/500-days-of-summer/
All the best x

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