THE MORNING AFTER : ‘(500) Days’ Discussed, with spoilers.

Here is where we discuss ‘(500) Days of Summer’ – some highs some lows, likes dislikes, etc…..  Then we inanely discuss our rating system.

Capsule reviews for spoiler avoidance:

GRADES: Nina predicted a C+, actual grade: B+.  Angela predicted B+, I’m teetering up to an A-.

RATINGS: Since this is fairly new, we’ve included our ENTIRE discussion on this. Look out for a page that explains these in depth soon enough…

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In short : SEE IT.


nina: ok. so. you ready to rock this review or what?
Angela C:
: k let me find my glasses
: i’m fucking blind…
: so. i fleshed out my issue with the numbers and the time jumping
Angela C:
ok, first remind me of your predict grade and you’re end grade? C to B?
: let’s go with C+ to B+
Angela C:
mmk… I can’t decide if I’m bumping my B+ to an A-, I might be…
: wow
Angela C
: explain your numbers issue.

nina: ok.  i’m ok with time jumping
nina: but my problem is that there was no “present” or anchor or point of reference
nina: like in eternal sunshine or memento
nina: where you always come back to a certain place
nina: with this
nina: (a) you are kind of just floating back and forth
nina: and (b) he references particular days that you’re supposed to remember

Angela C: but I wouldn’t say floating because you do get the feeling of going somewhere, there’s an anticipation.
Angela C: and I think if you just let the vague progression, which they help with the numbers / shade of the background / tree growth etc… you can just let it happen
Angela C: which is kind of hard cause numbers are numbers
Angela C: and for numbery people I imagine it’s like, do the math do the math
Angela C: but I don’t think it has to be that specific

nina: right…it wasn’t a HUGE problem for me, but i would’ve preferred a different device
nina: i wanted to go back to a particular place a little more
nina: so i had a point of reference
nina: but what bumped it up to a B+ was definitely (a) it was fucking hilarious and (b) joseph made it feel totally real
nina: can’t say the same about zooey
Angela C: yeah i have nitpicky things about her character. they just rely on her big eyes and bangs
Angela C: but when she’s like ‘he could be a really great architect if he wanted to be…’
Angela C: i’m like ‘ and what do you do, bitch?’

nina: right?! and she’s ALWAYS some larger than life crazy girl that comes in and is wacky and they fall in love with her wackiness
Angela C: she has no real meat to her besides the obvious charmy charm
Angela C: which really is a writer’s problem
nina: i wonder if it’s because she can’t do normal
Angela C: such a dude perspective
Angela C: like, he doesn’t even care, cause of those blue eyes! and they both like the Smiths!

nina: hahaha yea – and i love how that’s the music they like
nina: and all we get is regina spektor
nina: like um…maybe we should be hearing the smiths?
nina: another writer’s flaw i think
Angela C: smiths was a weird choice to me
Angela C: but that’s always a problem with movies that are playing to an indie / hip sensibility
Angela C: people are sooooo particular (people, read: me.)

nina: and when they’re in the bar and he’s talking about the way women dress?
nina: what the fuck was that?
Angela C: that conversation was too real to me, he’s just trying to think of something to say
Angela C: he’s all lost cause she’s being distant I think
nina: i really loved him in this
nina: i was impartial and now i’ve turned
nina: he did really well at being someone i knew
Angela C: he MADE the movie, would have been a meltdown otherwise
nina: like i wanted to shove her out of the way and be like NO date me…ME!!!
Angela C: ha… you’re waving your hands ‘yoohoooo’
nina: exactly!

Angela C: i wonder if they stuck Autumn in the background of any scenes…..
nina: yea i wanted to watch it again cause of that
Angela C: ok, well, as a kind of wrap up, i was thinking about it last night, and regardless of the little issues it’s definitely a special movie
nina: yes, overall like
Angela C: A.O. Scott actually words it:
Angela C: “So a winsome, accessible movie about more-or-less recognizable young people navigating the murky waters of post-sexual-revolutionary, midrecessionary heterosexual attraction has a novelty and a measure of bravery working in its favor, whatever its shortcomings. And “(500) Days” finds just the right scale and tone, neither trivializing nor melodramatically overstating the delicate feelings it explores.”

nina: nice.
Angela C:
fuck him and his good ass writing
nina: hahahhaha
Angela C:
nina: time to rate.  what categories should we use?
Angela C: we need a good indie rating

nina: oh! also – such a great relief from judd apatow
nina: had to say it
Angela C: yeah that’s what Scott was referencing- allow another cut and paste
Angela C: “But it is, all the same, a fairly pointed response to the sorry state of romantic comedy in Hollywood, which runs the gamut from gauzily implausible fantasy to blatant and fatuous dishonesty, with an occasional detour into raunchy humor. The governing commercial calculus these days seems to be that dudes want smut, ladies want weddings, and a picture (like “The Hangover,” say) that delivers both will make the audience happy and the studios rich.”
nina: ha yes

nina: so we need an indie icon
Angela C: yes, but a good one
nina: and i think we need a ‘laugh out loud’ icon
nina: cause i was doing plenty of that
Angela C: yes, and something that conjures ‘awwwww’
Angela C: I was thinking we could have a 10 rating and then fill it however.
Angela C: like 4 good indies, 3 awws, 3 lols.  ya know?
Angela C: and if a movie sucked it could be like 8 poops and 2 tampons
nina: hahahah wow that is a crappy movie
Angela C: hahahaha, right? 8 poops is a lot of poops
nina: but we digress
nina: ok so how do we visualize these indies, awwws and lols

Angela C: hmmm, a good indie …………
nina: is it fair to say that indie = lo budg?
Angela C: um, no, indie = hip
nina: ok so hip = …
Angela C: and also low budg… but more hip…
Angela C: like bad / cliche icons might be – raybans, flannel, skinny jeans, certain haircuts, beards….
nina: ok…cup of coffee?
Angela C: that kind of works, it would have to be Intelligentsia, it’s hip but it’s also GOOOOOOOD
nina: right. we could do that
Angela C: you can make an intelligentsia coffee cup icon?
nina: yes.  for sure.
nina: and awww?
nina: so cute aww or sad aww?
nina: cause i felt both
Angela C: both
Angela C: a sick kitten
nina: that’s horrific

Angela C: charming heartbreak. how do you personify??
nina: argh
nina: ok what if we go to LOL first
Angela C: well maybe just a laughing emoticon
Angela C: with a bubble ‘lol’
nina: ok
nina: damn now we’re back to awww
nina: shit. i don’t know
nina: joseph gordon levitt heads?
Angela C: yeah just do that
Angela C: he deserves to be a part of the rating

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3 Responses to THE MORNING AFTER : ‘(500) Days’ Discussed, with spoilers.

  1. R.J. says:

    A couple of unsolicited thoughts:

    – Firstly, it totally helped that I just ended a relationship with a girlfriend before I watched Paper Heart and 500 Days of Summer.

    - It’s good to know that the hip thing to do in films is throw hipsters all over a script. Not that it’s a bad thing, I’m just jealous that hipsters can navigate so many thematic terrains with wreckless bravado, much like colonizers in Africa and Asia circa 1600s-now. And much like colonizers, leave us [the colonized] with feelings of guilty pleasure of the perks of civilization. However, you [colonized] undeniably experience the next morning regrets with a one-night stand you later find out you get preggo. Wait, I think I’m only one who sees this comparison…

    - Much like the art direction/set design of the film the shellac and sheen of cool drips onto the ground, creating a pool from which emerge our crushes, Joseph and Zooey. Of course it’s only fitting to have our two hipster poster children (of the hipster beautiful varietal vs.hipster with hair outgrowth varietal) work at a gretting card company, with dispositions towards 1920s-1940s American Architecture (cite needed). Otherwise, all the line drawings and 50s aesthetic throwback would be frivolous, almost excessive.

    - The numbers are just that, numbers. Love is episodic. Our memories gravitate to the most tragic, and the most glorious (at least that’s what I’m going through right now). The film would not work to throw them in a ‘linear’ sequence, it wouldn’t fly, the emotions needed to be expressed in peaks and valleys – and besides relationships are universally linear, you meet, you get together, you breakup, so yeah it was a smart move to ‘manipulate’ the sequence. The overt control permitted all of the other bells and whistles the filmmakers wanted to throw in there – the musical sequence, the split-screen of expectation vs. reality. The only other reason the filmmakers could have thrown in the numbers would freak out the numerologists or the folks on the Mayan calendar.

    - No need to hate on the Smiths, it makes sense in this piece. If, instead, you threw in Tom Waits, Elvis Costello, Nick Cave, hell, Patsy Cline, you’d probably lose the target demographic of 16 – 35 and get the 35 – 56. There’s no money there, although the AARP is a growing political contingent nowadays aren’t they?

    - I love 500 Days of Summer. My heart fresh with heartbreak was trying to claw out of my chest and give me a hug. It’s a lot more accessible in the hipster aesthetic/cinema (see Lost in Translation) regarding love. I was compelled to visit my ex afterwards and apologize for all the wrong I’ve done and attempt to win her heart back by singing a Feist track, but I went to Jack-in-the-Box instead and realized how off the meat to bread ratio was in my mini-Buffalo-Ranch Chicken sandwiches and felt guilty for consuming so many carbs so late at night.

  2. c u r t i s says:

    autumn >> summer

  3. [...] waiting for the trailers to start before 500 Days of Summer, Angela and I ended up discussing Atonement. She said the movie blew but the book was really good. [...]

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