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500 Days of Summer

500 Days of Summer“500 Days of Summer” is the definition of uneven. It feels like director Marc Webb had some great scenes in mind, filmed those, and then went back and filmed in between them with bits and pieces borrowed from other, lesser, movies.

Joseph Gordon-Leavitt is a twenty-something hipster who studied to be an architect but somehow ended up writing greeting cards instead. (Funny, I always thought robots wrote greeting cards.) He is impatiently waiting for the Right Girl to come along, so he can fall in love with her, get married, and live happily ever after. (Someone should tell him about Bible school.) A cute girl does come along, in the ever-so-cute form of Zooey Deschanel, but she doesn’t believe in love. She does, however, believe in kissing in the copy room, and copying sex positions from adult videos.  One can see why he might overlook their differences in philosophy, and why she might not care one way or the other.

Now normally in a romantic comedy, which “500 Days” most certainly is, he would warm her cold cold heart.   Not this time around.  She never does fall in love with him, and eventually, runs off and marries someone else (so, apparently, her opinions about love change, just not about him.)  This is not a spoiler; the movie lets you know this is going to happen right up front. In fact it might let you know this is going to happen in the previews. This isn’t a movie about how Love Conquers All; it’s more about how Love Bewilders Most. And it has some classic scenes; Gordon-Leavitt dancing through the streets like an ’80s Coke commercial is a great one. It also feels the need to drop the obligatory Smiths, Pixies, Simon & Garfunkel, and The Graduate references.  Really, wouldn’t it be more interesting if, in the elevator, he was listening to, say, Patsy Cline?

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