Before we get into the topic of the day, I just wanted to plug a wonderful band called Hey Marseilles. They’re from Seattle and their music reminds me of what I would call French Farmer’s Market. The music ranges from fun to melancholy, embracing strings and brass in ways most rock bands don’t. Great soundtrack for internet surfing on late summer nights.
It’s the dog days of summer (a term I never found charming), which means summer flings and first loves, but I’m going to do what my friends tell me I’m great at and be the cynic in the room. I know this, movies often get love wrong.
I thought I was the only woman in America who has seen (500) Days of Summer and had more to hate than love. It claims not to fall into the traps of ordinary romantic comedies, but falls again and again. The mellow-dramatic twists and turns (if you can call it that, the movie doesn’t try to hide what happens, only its predictability) makes it feel like it’s trying to be cute.
I like my movies organic and sensible (hard to come by). (500) Days of Summer is a critics darling, but the film fell flat on execution for me. I wanted to love this movie, but I couldn’t. It was too hyped, too superficial, too arrogant for me. It is a woman’s movie with a male narrator who ignores the details of the female lead. It inches on sexism (read here and here), but I wouldn’t call it sexist, I would call it lazy. It tries a little bit too hard to be a smart movie.
Romantic comedies in general, deliver attractive two dimensional characters who have a hard time before falling in love. The fact that the couple doesn’t stay together doesn’t make (500) Days of Summer special, but it does make the movie think it’s special, which probably annoys me more.
Love is a complex emotion that should be thought of in its many, varied phases and in the context of those situations. This movie removes any context and tries to act like love should be the same for everyone in each of their different encounters. It’s not and should never be just simple. The main characters would do well to spend a little more time thinking and a little less time just acting.
(500) Days of Summer had its moments, but overall it felt too distant from its characters and the genuine situation they found themselves in. It was too eager to blame, and too sparse in understanding, too much of what I expect a ‘normal’ romantic comedy, and not enough of this ‘reality’ it advertised.