Friday, January 15, 2010

(500) Days of Summer (2009)

The Architecture of Happiness gets an outrageous plug here, but it was my recollection of Essays in Love that led me to conclude that this movie just might be the bastard (unrequited-)love child of Alain de Botton.

The're very much alike old Alain and Zooey. Their annoyingness starts with their names and just kind of moves on from there, but there's definitely a certain something about them too, a flash of inveigling fascination which ultimately makes you forget the vastly more numerable moments that you wanted to set about them with a baseball bat.

And that, in a sense, is what this movie is both about and what it feels like to watch it (...and to listen to the sountrack).

Just the offset sequences showing the misalignment of Tom's expectations with reality was enough to make me suffer from a sort of short term amnesia which dispelled the short term nausea I'd been feeling for much of the rest of the movie. Like Tom, I guess I found myself remembering just the good bits.

And of course, this being Hollywood, (500) Days of Summer couldn't end with a fittingly de Bottonesque finale, with our disillusioned hero having a lonely tommy tank as he turns to Nietzsche for consolation; instead romantic destiny sets Tom up with a second chance in the form of an undoubtedly fitter and presumably less kooky alternative to Summer...who introduces herself as Autumn.

Grade: B+

Read the first para of Roger Ebert's review and you'd almost think he was after a piece of De Botton's action!

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