Jake Martin on (500 Days)

We're delighted to be able to offer you this online review of one of my favorite new movies of the summer, the marvelous "(500) Days of Summer."  In several interviews, the actors Joseph Gordon-Levitt and Zooey Deschanel, as well as the director Marc Webb, made it clear that they wanted to offer moviegoers a new kind of romance.  (Levitt had some tart words for Esquire magazine about the current state of movies.

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And they have.  The viewer, before the story has barely begun, knows that this romance between two smart young people, is doomed.  That's the 500 days.  But I'd rather have you read Jake Martin's smart review of the movie.  He begins:

Let me preface this review by stating that I have nothing against Meg Ryan. I thought she did a wonderful job in “When Harry Met Sally.” Crinkling her nose and looking befuddled, she made ordering an entire restaurant meal “on the side” utterly adorable and not as annoying as it really is. I just wish that Meg would have quit while she was ahead, instead of trying to recycle the same character for the next two decades. And lest anyone think that I’m being sexist, let me say that I’m equally exhausted with Hugh Grant stammering his way through an endless parade of romantic comedies. So it was with equal parts relief and pleasure that I found nary a nose crinkle or stammer within a ten-mile radius of the film (500) Days of Summer.

The film tells the story of Tom (Joseph Gordon-Levitt) and Summer (Zooey Deschanel), two 20-something hipsters living in Los Angeles and working at a greeting card company. Tom is obsessed with the idea of love, and I don’t mean the kind found in the pages of Deus Caritas Est. The love Tom is concerned with has a shelf life of approximately 90 minutes and can only be found at your local cineplex. Fortunately for the audience, and unfortunately for Tom, “(500) Days of Summer” is not that kind of romantic comedy. In some ways the film is a cautionary tale about the myths romantic comedies perpetuate, yet more than anything else it offers an account of romance and relationship in a post-modern age. For while Summer is free of the illusory romanticism that Tom holds dear, her understanding of love is equally as distorted, bathed as it is in heavy doses of cynicism and mistrust.

Read the rest here.  And then go see it.

 

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