Magazine article The Spectator

Kids' Stuff

Magazine article The Spectator

Kids' Stuff

Article excerpt

(500) Days of Summer

12A, Nationwide

(500) Days of Summer is a Hollywood romantic comedy with (unnecessary and annoying brackets) in the title just so we know it's quirky, which it rather is, but it's so in love with its own quirkiness it gets tiresome after a while. It's just not as clever as it thinks it is although, having said that, I should point out it's been a huge commercial and critical hit in America so maybe I'm just getting too old for dating movies generally. Or, as my five-year-old niece recently put it to me: 'Deb, why are you all cracked around the eyes?' Kids, couldn't eat a whole one and all that, but still, what a bitch! Alternatively, and just to prove I can also do quirky: 'what a (bitch! )' So, (500), which describes itself as 'an honest, true-to-life account' of a relation-ship, rather as if all those Sandra Bullock and Owen Wilson movies have never had anything to tell us and may even be wildly implausible in some way. As if! Plus, I can't remember the last time I went to a wed-ding which wasn't crashed by two hand-some hunks who eventually find true love via a series of comical mishaps. 'Here come the hunks, ' everyone says at weddings these days. 'Hold on to your hats and let the comic mishaps begin. . . . ' But this is different, and is about a relationship that doesn't make it, which isn't a spoiler because, as the narrator says right at the beginning, 'This isn't a love story. It's a story about love.'

Essentially, it is boy meets girl, boy falls in love, girl doesn't. The boy is Tom, as played by Joseph Gordon-Levitt, who is dishy in a rather nice, understated James McAvoy kind of way, while the girl, Summer, is played by Zooey Deschanel, who is lus-ciously gorgeous but always dressed like a dirndl doll, for some reason. Anyway, Tom, whose romantic notions have been informed by 'sad British pop music and a misreading of The Graduate', trained as an architect but is frittering away his salad days writing sappy messages for a greetings card com-pany. 'Why make something disposable like a building when you can make something that lasts for ever like a greetings card, ' he says, when quizzed on this matter. There are some nice lines in this. And Summer? She comes into his life when she lands the job as his boss's assistant. …

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