323 Days of Summer: DVD Review

500 Days of Summer is a cool romantic comedy and they won’t let you forget it. She digs Belle and Sebastian and he sings The Pixies at the Karaoke. They both like The Smiths. Actually, that’s not really cool, that’s demographic pandering. If you fit that niche, have we got a formulaic romantic comedy for you!

No wait! It’s not a romantic comedy, because fans of Morrisey are too cynical for that. No, this is NOT a love story. Of course, it still has the annoying friends who give advice, and the Boy meets girl, boy loses girl, boy gets SPOILER formula, only ladies and gentlemen, it’s tweaked. Do you hear me! It’s tweaked!

Also, this story is told all out of linear time, making this is serious film-making. No wait, I mean it’s a stale recycled gimmick played up as if it’s an interesting conceit.

Well, it could be worse (Seems I’ve said that before). I could have called this review 56 Days of Summer or some lower number. The end result is a very pretty pastiche of scenes from a relationship, played by the lively and adorable Joseph Gordon-Levitt and Zooey Deschanel. If you like She & Him you’ll probably like this movie. (If you don’t know who She & Him are you might like The Smiths.) You’re probably also a sucker for bright blue eyes. Crisp enunciation doesn’t make you a singer and likeable onscreen charisma doesn’t make you a character.

HERE IS WHERE THERE’S A SPOILER. I need to spoil it because it’s what’s wrong with the movie. It’s like being an acquaintance with a cute couple. You see them out on dates from time to time. Then you find out they broke up. It’s unfortunate, but it’s not like you know them all that well. They don’t get back together. Affectively sad. Not deeply sad, because again, you don’t know them, and because at the end he finds another chick who’s even better looking than Zooey Deshanel, which I guess is the message of the movie: if you ever get dumped by someone as cute as Deshanel, someone ever cuter will come along. Her name’s Autumn, and if this movie had more depth, that would symbolize the old age and death that awaits Joseph Gordon-Levitt, but in this movie it just symbolizes a cop-out.

Where’s the misery of a true love lost forever, and the struggle to survive with that un-healable ache? I’m a Smith’s fan.

–Dan Kilian

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