The Random Thoughts of a Forty-Something. Films, Restaurants, Theatre, Concerts, World Events and (Mostly) Nice People.
Thursday, September 03, 2009
500 Days Of Summer (One would be Enough)
I do like a good rom-com -- '50 First Dates', 'Clueless', even 'Notting Hill' or 'Love Actually'. But unfortunately this isn't one.
A very slight tale of boy meets girl, boy falls in love with girl, girl marries someone else -- '500 Days of Summer' (the girl's name is Summer geddit?) has been hailed as a left-field box office smash and lauded by critics worldwide. It's 'Rotten Tomatoes' rating is a staggering 87%. I fell asleep. Three times.
Every romantic comedy stands or falls on it's male & female leads being believable and emphathetic. Unfortunately neither worked for me. Tom (Joseph Gordon-Levitt) is basically a rather sad whinge-fest whilst Summer (Zooey Deschanel) delivers a detached and unmemorable performance. Their relationship, for what there is of it, basically consists of a few oddball dates and some incredibly tame sex.
Laughs are few and far between and nothing really seems to work. I was left with the impression of the bare bones of a story crying out to be developed. The film also employs an annoying fast forward and rewind technique complete with unneccesary narration, just to pile on the annoyance.
For me though the real disappointment is Zooey Deschanel. Possessed of drop dead gorgeous eyes and a kooky manner of potentially Phoebe Boufet proportions, she should have been adorable. Instead we get a faxed-in personality-free performance leaving us at a loss as to why Tom should have any particular long-term interest at all. And what's with the wardrobe? Awful awful clothes dear.
Tom's two long-suffering friends / work colleagues are subjected to constant whining which they take with good grace instead of telling our hero to either get a life or a blow-up doll. The most sensible character is the little girl (Tom's sister?) who advises him not be such a pussy.
The sole remarkable moment is the explicit use of the f word in a 12A film -- something which would have guaranteed an 18 certificate just a few years ago.
Not great at all and even more disappointing as I'd been looking forward to this.