11 September 2009

(500) Days of Summer

Lemontree hosted a bridal shower for some relative or another, so I hopped on my motorcycle and made myself scarce for the evening.

One of my favorite shows is "At the Movies" with Ben Lyons and Ben Mankiewicz. You may be familiar with movie critics Siskel and Ebert (Gene and Roger, respectively)? Well, these guys are their successors. Anyway, Ben and Ben gave (500) a glowing review -- and I had some free time to kill -- so even though some might consider this movie a "chick flick" I went and saw it anyway. My other choice was G.I. Joe, and while I'm sure I'll get around to watching that one eventually, I was in the mood for something with more substance and less explosions.

In a word, (500) Days of Summer is outstanding. While it falls just short of such all-time favorites as Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan, Logan's Run, or Dune, it's right up there with the Top Ten and I will be very disappointed if it doesn't win several awards. I'm already a little miffed that I've never seen it listed on any of the streetside theater marquees -- the only way I knew it was playing in our area was by searching for it online. It might have something to do with it's "chick flick" stigma, or perhaps the short 1h 35m running time (an almost sure sign of a bad movie), or maybe it just doesn't have enough explosions.

Regardless, it's worth searching for. A word of warning, though. It is rated PG-13 for a about 60 seconds of "adult" content. Said content was actually relevant to the storyline though and not just thrown in to bump the rating up to get more viewers, unlike some movies I could mention *cough*Titanic*cough*. I don't know that I can go so far as to say it was tastefully done, but it has to be one of the least explicit scenes in any PG-13 movie, ever (uh, I still wouldn't let my kids see it).

Anyway, the movie is sometimes billed as a "romantic comedy"; it is nothing of the sort. Sure, there's some romance, and yes, there's some comedy, but (500) has as much in common with Sleepless in Seattle or You've Got Mail as I have in common with Rosanne Barr (in short, nothing). I can't even call it a chick flick because there's plenty here for guys to enjoy (I can only assume the girls will like it as well). It's got a nonlinear timeline and it has some unusual film techniques, but these odd devices all just click and work together. There was only one scene in the whole movie I found fault with, and that was just because it ran 10 seconds too long (I think because they wanted the music to swell). Really, that's just nitpicking and I couldn't find anything else to complain about.

Due to the nonlinear timeline, you might fear that the movie's ending is known well before the end of the show. Worry not, for there are some twists. I cannot say more without spoilers.

In short -- grab your spouse or girlfriend and get to the theater, for there's actually a movie worth paying the exorbitant ticket price for.


Amber said...

I am so glad you reviewed this. I almost went to see it a few days ago but did not because I was afraid to dump that much money on a dud. I am excited to go now because the previews look awesome (and I LOVE Zooey Deschanel)!

Corwin said...

Dang it! I just watched the latest episode of "At the Movies" and it seems that the two hosts have been replaced. The new hosts aren't nearly as good... I can only hope that they will find their footing over the next few episodes. Still, I'm rather disappointed, as I really liked Ben and Ben.