Thursday, September 10, 2009

(1) Great Summer Movie

Billy Mernit already had a great post on (500) Days of Summer, so what else can I add, but...

One of the first things the narrator says is, "This is not a love story."

I've known people with different reactions to this movie. I say, this is not the best movie ever.

But it is pretty great.

Also, I want to dress like Zooey Deschanel in this movie.

This was one of my most anticipated movies of the summer. Maybe it's because I love Zooey Deschanel. Maybe it was because I saw this Ikea clip and thought it was amazing - "Sink's broken." "Well that's ok. That's why we bought a house with two kitchens!" Maybe I loved it because I recognized the Bradbury building in LA (thank you, film education!). It's the kind of movie I wish I had written (or maybe did, with The 4:05).

But I think why this movie was so refreshing, even with it's faults, is that it is a true movie. I don't mean true as in autobiographical (though there is a lot of that). I mean it's not the Katherine Heigl rom-com of the month. The characters were different than the ones we typically see in rom coms (think of the other rom coms of the summer and compare).

The wonderful thing about this film is that everyone has been in this movie. Everyone has had an amazing relationship that turns out... less than amazing. It's part of life - and if you hadn't had it yet, you will. It may not be a romantic relationship. It may be a friendship or a family member even. It's also very subjective and very much from Tom's point of view. Which is great, because it allows so much personal ranting on love and relationships and what exactly happened, which is exactly what everyone does when perfection doesn't pan out. Someone once said that as artists our responsibility is not to answer questions but to ask them. (500) Days of Summer asks the all time important question - What do you do with a perfect relationship that doesn't have a perfect ending?

If you want to know more, you can listen to the Creative Screenwriting Magazine Q&A with co-screenwriter Scott Neustadter here. He actually has a legitimate reason for the parentheses in the title.

"Our aim was not having a happy ending but a hopeful ending." - Scott Neustadter

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