Wednesday, September 16, 2009

(500) Days of Summer

I am not a fan of the romantic comedy genre. This because romantic comedy films and plays are historically misogynistic. Earlier this year, at the Tribeca Film Festival, I saw a fabulous film called ‘Timer.’ It was a truly clever combination of romantic comedy and science fiction. Written, directed, and produced by women, it was an utterly delightful non-misogynistic romance. I have yet to see this film picked up by a distributor, which proves misogynists dominate the industry.

I am surprised and delighted to report that I’ve seen my second non-misogynistic romantic comedy this year: ‘(500) Days of Summer.’ This was a non-linear story of Tom’s love for Summer – or was it obsession? Numbered scenes from the day Tom and Summer first meet to the moment Tom begins to (spoiler!) recover bounce around from euphoria to despair and back again.

Joseph Gordon-Levitt is Tom Hansen, a writer of greeting cards instead of the architect he wanted to be. Zooey Deschanel’s Summer is the object of Tom’s desire, love, fantasies, and disappointments. The set-up is clear from the beginning – as Tom’s colleague McKenzie (Geoffrey Arend) states on their karaoke evening out, Summer’s belief system about love and relationships is that of a “dude.” Tom is the blatant romantic. All the performances are good, but I must point out that Chloe Moretz as Tom’s sensible little sister is entrancing. Between the honesty of the scenes between Tom and Summer, and the scenes between Tom and his sister, and the marvelous soundtrack, this movie flew by too fast. And I never say that about movies.

The journey lasts under two hours but memories of the familiar moments of loves lost and found will pop up on the walk home, the next day’s commute, and whenever I put that CD in my stereo.

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