Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Guide to Guys: 500 Days Of Summer

Because you only pick apart the ones you love, and ignore the ones you could care less about, here are 10 things 500 Days Of Summer gets right, 4 things it gets wrong, and one thing nobody else has pointed out.

The Right Stuff:

1. To the incurable romantic, the phrase "casual relationship" means "step one towards commitment." It's never an end in itself, because to the incurable romantic, there is nothing casual about love, or loving.

2. There’s always the one who likes and the one who likes more. God help you if you're the second.

3. You can’t recapture spontaneity.

4. You always remember the good stuff from the beginning, and use it as a weapon whenever there's bad stuff at the end. The worse the bad stuff, the more painful the good memories, and the more you're living in the long-dead past. “How could you say that then and not now?” is the romantic equivalent of saying “How come it’s Friday instead of Monday?”

5. The quickest way to get a woman to pull away is to reach for her so she won't pull away. She'll be out past the orbit of Pluto before you know it.

6. Timing is everything. Which means it's totally out of your control. Accepting it is only part of the problem; dealing with it is where the work really starts.

7. The getting-to-know-you days, the “I find you interesting” thing, is the best part of every relationship. It's like constantly finding new specials on a one-page menu.

8. The now-that-I-know-you part is when a relationship either starts to grow or starts to die.

9. Considering how it's impossible for you to tickle yourself, it's pretty amazing how nobody can pull the wool over your eyes better than you can.

10. There are two types of guys: Moses and Joshua. Moses leads you through the desert for what seems like 40 years, he puts up with your bullshit, he yells at you for worshipping false gods, he puts up with all your crap, and what is his reward? When you get to the Promised Land, he has to stay on the other side of the river, because Moses is the guy who shows you where to go. He is not the guy you live with when you get there. That's Joshua. Only Joshua gets to the Promised Land. Guess who's Moses in this movie?

The Wrong Stuff:

1. When a girl says “I’ve never told anybody that before,” the last thing in the world you should say is “I guess that means I’m not just anybody.” You can think it. Hell, you WILL think it. But you never, never say it out loud.

2. So after a year and a half, there wasn’t one day where Tom said “I love you” to Summer? Not one? Because if there wasn’t, because if he never once in a year and a half brought up the L word as a topic of discussion, then he deserved everything he got. And using “couple” as a synonym for the L word doesn’t count.

3. What did they get each other for their birthdays? Did he get her jewelry? (You know he would.) Did she get him architecture books? (You know she would.)

4. He has friends and she has nobody? Not even a single best friend she introduces Tom to? This is dumber than the disappearing kids in Revolutionary Road. You do not love in a vacuum. It’s a social thing. And from having no friends at all, suddenly Summer has an apartment full of people that Tom doesn’t know? A whole life he never had even a glimpse of? Sorry; don’t buy it.

The one thing nobody else has pointed out:

Without the back-and-forth time scheme, the movie is Annie Hall, complete with the get-back-together section, a character scene in a movie theatre, the female lead doing a song, some cartoon animation, the attempted repeat of a classic moment (the lobsters in Annie Hall, karaoke in 500 Days), and the fact that only the male character has any friends outside of the relationship. The only thing that’s missing is a dinner scene with Summer’s parents.

Is this a bad thing? Hell, no. Every romantic comedy should aspire to be Annie Hall. It's just that, of the few that try, only one or two ever succeed. This is one of them. Go see it.


McCall said...

This is a brilliant post. So precise. Needless to say, I loved this doggone movie.

amanda said...

I guess, I gotta go see it now.