"It's funny how the colors of the real world only seem really real when you viddy them on the screen."

Thursday, July 19, 2012

500 Days of Summer

I watched this for the second time and like it much better, but I still don't love it.  I do love the fanciful bits of filming:  the dance number with cartoon birds, the buildings turning into drawings and being erased, the numbers with different levels of darkness in the sky, and the beginning caveat in print.  I like the out-of-orderness of it that makes it more realistic as a memory.  The story is original and compelling.  So what's the problem?

Tom and Summer meet.  She says lets keep it casual.  He falls in love and is tormented when she dumps her.  The first time I saw it, I couldn't stand it because of Tom's annoying neediness - that he didn't listen to her words when she said she didn't want a relationship, that he thought little things were signs that she was falling for him, regardless what she told him, and that he can't cope without her.  It's just too frustrating to watch him.

After a second viewing, I'm no more sympathetic to him, but I like how he's explained.  He's a product of too many cliched romantic movies, and he's taken his cues from fantasy instead of seeing what's right in front of him.  His blind date spells it out for him, but he still can't see it.  And by the end, he still won't learn.  He's a romantic, and I think we're supposed to admire his tenacity and hopefulness, but the ending was still annoying to me.  It's believable, for sure, but it's bad enough watching it unfold in real life.  Many of us make the same mistakes over and over like we're on auto-pilot.  It's painfully tedious.

But there are some lovely little touches throughout the movie and some entertaining supporting characters that make it worth a watch.

ETA - I like it more now that I know JGL felt the same way about his character:


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