Sunday, June 5, 2011

Movie Review: (500) Days of Summer

As I was browsing through the DVD collection at the local college library I found this DVD right next to the little anime section (which doesn't mean anything, they number the DVDs in the order they get them) and thought why not? I thought I had heard good things about the movie and, considering that's how I choose books to read, that seemed as good a reason as any to check it out.

(500) Days of Summer
Summary: Tom, a hopeless romantic who works as a greeting card writer, falls hard for another employee in the office, Summer. Summer, who says upfront that she isn't looking for a boyfriend, becomes "more than a friend" to him and the movie skips around in the 500 days of the lead up and fall down from their relationship.

The Good: While this clip (the "PENIS" part) shows that Summer acts as a maniac pixie dream girl to Tom to an extent the trope is actually played with. Tom is the maniac pixie dream guy to her in some instances and, since the movie makes it clear right at the beginning how the story will end, it makes their whole relationship a little more interesting. Tom's two guy friends and the little girl who was always giving relationship advice were surprisingly amusing, the little girl almost reminded me of the little girl from Little Miss Sunshine. Finally, the way the movie cut and spliced the 500 days Tom knew Summer was interesting, unexpected, and I think it helped move the plot along better. By doing that they were able to cut out the parts of the relationship where nothing happened and leave the watcher guessing what exactly happened, even though it's revealed at the very start that things didn't end well.

The Bad: Personally, I just couldn't stand Tom as the main character. Summer says at the start that she doesn't want a boyfriend yet he never seems to get this and acts like a complete jerkass after they break-up. Yes Summer did lead him on in some cases (like the sex in the shower scene) but, if he wasn't sure about where their relationship stood, shouldn't he have asked instead of assuming? What really turned me off was just how angry he was and how obsessive he was over Summer, I simply couldn't sympathize with him at all and made me worried for the girl he was with in the end.

The Audio: The movie used several songs in the soundtrack (I don't believe any of them were made specifically for the movie) which was nice but the only song that caught my attention was one I already recognized.

The Visuals: One interesting visual the movie used was showing two shots side by side, one what was really happening in reality and the other showing what Tom wanted to happen. I liked that and I also liked how then the clip showing reality got larger and larger until it completely covered up the fantasy clip, the symbolism there might be a little heavy handed but it was still a nice visual that really can only work in a movie or a tv show.

So, didn't like the movie at all in the end but at least it was rather short (I think it was only an hour and 45 minutes total). Romcoms are usually not my thing anyway so this isn't terribly surprising but I still wanted to try it out, maybe I'll find one I like more later in the summer.

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