(500) Thoughts later…


… I am still not sure about (500) Days of Summer. I really, really wanted to like it. It’s got a drop dead gorgeous leading man and leading lady (Zooey Deschanel and Joseph Gordon-Levitt) It’s hip. It’s a contemporary film about single people my age. And, unlike a lot of romantic comedies out there (even though it is NOT A ROMANTIC COMEDY) it’s quirky, fresh, and something different.

There’s just one problem: I hated Summer.

I know that’s kind of the point of the film. (Or is it?) She’s supposed to be someone unattainable, someone that all the guys love and all the girls secretly hate. Someone with an ephemeral quality that cute, hipster boys seem to love so much. It’s not a love story; it’s a story about love. 

But I couldn’t help it. Summer is an amalgam of all the girls I’ve ever known and secretly hated. (And not just because she’s the kind of girl boys go for. It’s because she’s so…transparently fake.  I mean, really, who runs around IKEA pretending to be married? I bet she doesn’t watch TV either, because she thinks it’s a waste of time. Get the fuck over yourself, fictional character!)

Some background:

After I graduated college and moved to Chicago, my first job was crewing on a documentary about vampires. (No, really.) I was thrilled. The guy making the documentary was cool, and I was actually going to get paid to work on a film.  But all that changed after I met the other crew member. She was my very own version of Summer. My Summer dressed all hipstery, wore too much lip balm, and had that “I cut my hair at home because it’s too expensive to go to a salon, that’s why it’s all uneven, doesn’t it look GREAT?” ‘doo. My Summer had scrabble nights at her apartment. She didn’t DARE watch TV. And, to top it all off, she turned my cool, funny director into a total douche bag.

In short, I hated her.

So maybe this movie hit a little too close to home for me. Maybe I didn’t give Movie Summer a fair shot. After all, she does love The Boy With the Arab Strap, and so do I.

After the movie I was in a foul mood. It put a bad taste in my brain. So my immediate reaction was to not like (500) Days of Summer.

However, it’s 5 days later and I’m still thinking about the film. So, what does that mean? Was it just so unpleasant that it’s still there, lingering like bad Mexican food? Or did I secretly love it, and my brain is trying to process this surprise?

My immediate thought walking out of the theater was that I wouldn’t see the movie again. Once was enough. But now I’m thinking I need to revisit Tom and Summer’s relationship. I need to go in with a clean slate, and not equate Summer to the annoying girls in college and my post-college nemesis. Maybe I should watch the film and try to see things from her perspective.

Damn. Don’t you hate it when a film makes you think?

Video of the Day: Whether or not I end up liking (500) Days of Summer, I already know I love this. The song is called “Why Do You Let Me Stay Here” by She and Him – the “She” being Zooey Deschanel. The duo has one album thus far (Volume I),  and it’s delightful. If you haven’t gotten it yet, check it out here.

Vodpod videos no longer available.

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