They couldn’t state it anymore plainly, or truly: “This is not a love story. This is a story about love.” I had the pleasure of catching this film a few weeks back at a sneak preview. Quite good, but dare I say definitely not a feel good movie.
I value a film that can make me laugh warmly and tear up sincerely, and (500) Days of Summer certainly succeeded in that. Joseph Gordon-Levitt’s shows us that he has what it takes to carry a feature with his sincere delivery and achingly relatable and yet endearing vulnerability. He is in need, but not needy. In love, but not dumb struck. Zooey Deschanel is… Zooey Deschanel. While she’s beautiful and appears in some fabulously cute ensembles, I wasn’t nearly as struck by her performance as Gordon-Levitt’s.
The script bounces back and forth from day 1 to day 500 of the relationship of Gordon-Levitt’s Tom and Deschanel’s Summer. We know from the start that their relationship isn’t going to work out, but we, like Tom, find ourselves wondering how that can be so and longing for an answer as to why not. Like The Breakup, this one can get almost too real at times; painfully reminding us of the feelings of love lost and the longing to somehow spark it up again.
With some clever sequences from director Marc Webb, great lines and awful karaoke, (500) Days of Summer will, as the season itself, entertain you while it lasts, just don’t expect any eternal heartwarming from this one. Just enjoy what it is and is only billed to be– a story about love.
I think my mom has secret worries about me getting married and having children. And when I say “secret” I mean obvious concerns, most notably when she tells me that she hopes to have grandchildren at an age where she “can still pick them up,” for example.
When I lived in Texas and had to fly back east for holidays, she’d always tease (or perhaps pray) that I’d meet a rich and charming “oil tycoon” aboard the plane who would just whisk me away. Apparently, I would be flying in a plane built by the Wright Brothers as well, but that’s besides the point. My mother has always hoped for a rich, handsome man in my future and probably fears that my feminist and liberal nature will keep me from locking down the type of catch she has in mind.
And so now, after a long-term failed relationship under my belt and no grandchildren bouncing upon her knee, my mother seems to be taking a new approach. This evening, she let me know that oil is out and green energy is in. As a result, she has launched her new “green man” campaign. “You know, one of those green men with the fields,” she says. (It’s classic my mom to only have half of the idea formulated and to fill the rest of the sentence with phrases like “you know” and “that thing”.) No word yet on where or how I’ll find him, but no worries. “He’s out there,” she says. “Just you wait, you’ll see.”
Later on in the conversation, we somehow came upon the topic of ocean windmills. A surprising direction for a chat with my mom to go in considering that we started the hour detailing the ingredients in the clam chowder she and my grandmother made over the weekend (“I know you don’t like clam chowder, but it just wasn’t right the first time we had it. It needed more potatoes and carrots and stuff,” she says.) When I asked a few logistical questions about this new technology (do they float? what’s the cost?), she responded matter-of-factly with, “Well I don’t know, but see–you can ask your green man about it! There’s a conversation starter for you!”
“Ya know what? You’re right, Ma,” I say. “You found a way to bring it back. Thanks.”
Oh sweet windmills, you are the key...