Monday, January 18, 2010
This is not a love story
I had originally planned on making my thoughts on Final Destination 4 my first entry in this blog. I’d written most of snark out in my head already, in fact. But really, why start out on such a negative note? And really, it is hard to get lower and more negative than that movie.
Some time back, I mentioned to my best friend (herein referred to as The Best Friend, or TBF) that my lovely pal RyAn had sung the praises of the movie 500 Days of Summer. She received a coupon from Blockbuster that allowed her to rent any movie for $1.99. Remembering my recommendation, she rented it, along with Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs.
As we sat down to watch the movie, the only knowledge I had of it was Zooey Deschanel and Joseph Gordon-Levitt play a boy and a girl who date for 500 days. The story is told through these days, in no real order. Also, something about a surprise penis. I’m a fan of JGL, if only for his role in the movie A River Runs Through It. I’d had no real thoughts on Ms. Deschanel until I watched Yes Man. Horrid movie, but I found her painfully adorable. Even if her voice, which feels like it should grate on my nerves, I found endearing. So I was interested to see her in what appeared to be a better role.
This movie is beautifully done. I don’t mean just in storyline, or camera angles. The way it is made is a treasure for the eyes and ears. The relationship is told in such a way as to be painfully real for anyone who’s been in a relationship, whether for 500 days or 5 days. This isn’t some big Hollywood romance of running through fountains and swelling music, tearful goodbyes and finding each other after being apart so long, running into each other’s arms and kissing like there’s no tomorrow.
No. This is kisses stolen in copy rooms. This is screaming “PENIS” in a park, making bystanders stare like you’ve lost your damn mind. Karaoke, for crying out loud. This is real life. But it’s real life that I haven’t even experienced, and I am jealous. I want to go to Ikea and pretend I live there. I want to sit on a bench and look at buildings and have a pretty boy draw buildings on my arm.
Most of all, I want Zooey’s pretty hair and the entirety of her wardrobe. Including the shirts that are seriously too tight at the breast line and good lord, couldn’t they have gone up one size? Really? Especially with a white blouse?
This is my kind of humor. Not gross out, or slap stick. Smart humor, such as “My nickname was Anal Girl” and “Honey, I don’t know how to tell you this, but there’s a Chinese family in our bathroom.” Clever humor is the best humor there is.
Tom’s little sister Rachel was my favorite character in the movie. For his best and wisest advisor to be someone who appeared to be maybe 13-years old was brilliant, and so perfect. Absolutely the best way to have smarts hammered into him, especially considering the two friends he hung out with. Mackenzie, his coworker, was wonderfully funny, especially in the karaoke scene. Paul, who appeared to be a male nurse, and had been dating his girlfriend since first grade, was great as friend filler, and for being the straight man for Tom’s line about “being unemployed.”
That is a line I need to use in real life, I might add. Though the females of the species don’t exactly get “jobs”, now do they? We always miss out on the good jokes.
My all-time favorite part was the split scene of Reality vs Expectations. It was exactly what does happen in real life, and it was so heartbreaking. I did not see the ending of this movie coming, not even at the beginning when you saw the ring on her hand. My brain didn’t register it until the moment we saw it again, and it just about ripped my poor aching heart out.
This movie will be filed away in my brain under “Need to Own” and “Everyone Must See”. When I informed TBF that “my friend RyAn” loved it, she turned and said, “Gay?” “Yes.” “Ah.” Because both of us know that is a ringing endorsement of goodness if ever there was.
Unless you’re talking about music. Lady Gaga, I’m looking at you.
Which brings me to one of the most important parts of a movie, the soundtrack. I am not a big Smiths fan. I appreciate the band for what they are, but I’ve never honestly had the chance to listen to their music, and haven’t sought them out. But I do love that that is what they originally bonded over, as opposed to some horrible music from today’s time. The song used during the dance sequence (how can anyone dislike a movie with a dance sequence?), "You Make My Dreams" is something I have always associated with The Wedding Singer, and as a big lover of 80’s music, I was thrilled to see it used here.
Also, can we just discuss the double use of "She's Like the Wind"? I laughed hard enough when the clip played the first time, but then again, followed by a screamed, "I HATE THIS SONG!"? Who hasn't felt that way about a romance song, especially one that cheesy?
Truly wonderful, and a great movie to start the blog out on.
And because I can:
Whedon Six Degrees of Separation: Geoffrey Arend, who played McKenzie, is married to the amazingly beautiful Christina Hendricks, who played YoSaffBridge on Firefly and a bar wench on Angel. Thank you.