Tuesday, August 04, 2009

Review: (500) Days of Summer (2009)

Two of the cutest indie actors today; Joseph Gordon Levit and Zooey Deschanel. JGL in his earth-toned woven shirts and sweater vests, and ZD in her precious one-of-a-kind vintage dresses. Romance, quirk, The Smiths.. Totally set up to be as pretentious as they come, and even worse they bill themselves as "the anti-romcom."

Too bad that's exactly what it is. It's romantic comedy with a few dark corners. Still, I adored this film. I wanted to hate it because it looked, like, too indie to be good. But it was just delightful.

Both actors delivered insanely sincere and earnest performances. Even though I didn't like the eponymous character, Summer, I thought Deschanel played her perfectly. It wasn't the character that was bad, it was what the character represented, which is a completely different beast. I didn't like her in a good way. Joseph Gordon-Levit was a tiny bit heartbreaking and he sold me on the deliverance of one word; "Yeah."

I felt the story structure was really interesting without going over the top (as in, trying too hard to be interesting). The film didn't take itself too seriously and kept me totally engaged the entire time. I really felt for these characters, no matter how quirky or free-spirited they may have been. They were real kids, maybe in love, maybe not. It doesn't glorify relationships or even give the audience what it wants. It's kind of a reminder to us all "hey man, sometimes love sucks, and sometimes it stays that way." but with always the promise that life goes on after a broken heart, no matter how we hate to think about it.

I was definitely one of the cynics, and if I could be warmed by this film, I think anybody could.

And The Smiths rock.

Recommended? Yep.

Grade: A-

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