Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Suddenly, Last Summer

500 Days of Summer is may favorite kind of movie to see. I didn't really know what to expect from it. I didn't know much about it other than it was a critical favorite and that it's about a girl who doesn't think true love exists and the boy who falls in love with her.

The girl is Summer (Zooey Deschanel) and the boy is Tom (Joseph Gordon Levitt) and we meet them toward the end of their relationship and jump around through a period of 500 days, from when they first met to, well, that would be telling. It amazes me that telling this story in a non-linear fashion worked so well especially considering it was directed by a music video director and written by the guys who wrote Pink Panther 2 or, as I call it, that godawfully sucky "comedy".

The movie starts somewhere around day 300 when Tom takes Summer out for pancakes and Summer coldly tells him that she wants to break up. That's how Summer comes off, anyway. The movie is told mainly from Tom's point of view and his perceptions are the only ones we see. Eventually, Tom's view of his life and his time with Summer begins to change and that's when we start to see the real story. For most of the movie, though, Tom is upset and depressed over his breakup and the fact that he has no idea why it happened. Honestly, it's not that hard to figure out but Tom can't see it because, as his extremely precocious little sister pointed out to him, he only focuses on memories of the good times. Mainly, they broke up because Tom is a passive/aggressive douchebag.

This is obvious from the moment they first meet. Tom is a writer for a greeting card company where Summer gets a job as the boss's secretary. His attraction to her is instant yet it takes more than a month for them to really get together due to the previously mentioned passive/aggressive douchebaggery. She sends Tom plenty of signals that she likes him too yet he has no clue. Well, he has a bit of a clue but he endlessly analyzes her every action to the point where he assumes he has no shot with her. She runs into him in an elevator where he's listening to the Smiths on his iPod and she tells him she really likes the Smiths too. Instead of seizing the opportunity she presented to him to strike up a conversation and maybe make a lunch date, he reverts to his passive/aggressive douchebag nature and decides his big move should be to play the Smiths really loudly from his desk as she walks by. Summer eventually had to kiss him in the copy room or else they would never have started dating at all.

And so it begins. And so it will go until it ends. In between, we'll see happiness, bonding, sexual experimentation, museums, movies, all the stuff couples do when they're learning about each other. We'll also see Tom's slide into despair when Summer breaks up with him and he spends the remainder of the 500 days trying to figure out why, something he would have figured before it happened had he not been a passive/aggressive douchebag. Tom's actually a decent fellow and a very entertaining character considering he's a...well, you know. A happy ending for Tom won't be getting Summer back. It will be to becomes less passive, more aggressive and lower his douchebaggery by at least 20%. Maybe then he'll be ready for love, marriage and all that other grownup stuff.

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