(500) Days of Summer

8 Oct

I'm a sucker for these kind of movies

I'm a sucker for these kind of movies

I never got around to writing about (500) Days of Summer on this blog and I really don’t know why. I simply loved the movie and it easily made my top five for the year. It’s really a simple story of young discovery as told through the eyes of a hopeless romantic (Joseph Gordon Levitt). It’s a timeless tale in my opinion, a script focused on the confusion of 20-30something life/romance in a swirling pot of emotions and music. It also had a great first time director (Marc Webb I won’t judge you for all of those songs you had to make music videos for) too, who wasn’t afraid to throw some flair in along the way (if you’ve seen it you know what I mean). But, it doesn’t hurt that I happen to love movies that seem to have spent a little extra time making sure the music fits the story…fits the scene…fits the mood.  When it works, it works. And this movie had a pretty solid soundtrack. I’m talking about a hodgepodge of Wolfmother, The Doves, The Smiths, and Hall & Oates. Nice. It also hit closer to home because one of my favorite movies growing up was High Fidelity (2000). I couldn’t help but sense a link between the two. But don’t worry if you didn’t like that movie, (500) Days of Summer is not nearly as pretentious in its approach to music namedropping.  It wades as far into the indie waters as The Smiths (a safe bet) before coming back to Regina Spektor and Feist. But that’s not bad! It works. But whatever, what’s the point bro I’ll go watch the movie why dont you shut up? Good question.

I never dove head first into the reason why I liked this movie so much and it bothered me, but I figured too much time had gone past to actually address the movie. But it just so happened that today an article was published on PopMatters on the very topic. I literally stumbled across this post written by a girl named Jennifer Cooke that really dives into a discussion of what I think is such an integral part of the film: the music. Of course, if you couldn’t tell from my gushing about this movie, the music was the kicker. See im convinced that the tagline is correct, this is not a love story; it’s a story of self actualization from the guy’s perspective. And since music is such an integral part of Joseph Gordon Levitt’s character, it cues us in on his emotional state. Sure, it helped him find Summer, but it’s also the very thing that’s blinding him from seeing what’s obviously wrong. Anyway, I think the dichotomy is beautiful and I’d really recommend reading the article when you have a spare moment. If you need extra incentive, she linked Hall & Oates’ “You Make My Dreams.”

Here’s a link to the article and an excerpt below:

“Joseph Gordon-Levitt, for his part, is no slouch in the charming department. His slightly rumpled, sweater-vest-and-Puma-wearing Tom recalls a sweeter, less misogynistic version of Rob Gordon in High Fidelity. He too blames his romantic ineptitude on having grown up on “sad British pop music” (or “sad bastard music” in High Fidelity) and seems to have a closet full of little more than Clash, Jam and Joy Division t-shirts.

Tom first speaks to Summer while listening to what could be called the Sad Bastard Anthem, “There Is a Light That Never Goes Out” by the Smiths—a song she professes to love and thereby seals their what Tom adamantly believes is their fated meeting. We will later find out that Tom’s tween-age sister is the voice of reason when she warns him that “Just because some cute girl likes the same bizarro crap you do does not make her your soulmate.” But not until we go through a whole lot more music.”

Go watch the movie if you haven’t already

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