Office Christmas Party
Another reminder that allowing your cast to madly improvise instead of actually providing a coherent script with a scintilla of inherent logic often leads to…
We never remember in chronological order, especially when we’re going back over a failed romance. We start near the end, and then hop around between the times that were good and the times that left pain. People always say “start at the beginning,” but we didn’t know at the time it was the beginning. "500 Days of Summer" is a movie that works that way.
Some say they’re annoyed by the way it begins on Day 488 or whatever and then jumps around, providing utterly unhelpful data labels: "Day 1," "Day 249." Movies are supposed to reassure us that events unfold in an orderly procession. But Tom remembers his love, Summer, as a series of joys and bafflements. What kind of woman likes you perfectly sincerely and has no one else in her life but is not interested in ever getting married?
Zooey Deschanel is a good choice to play such a woman. I can’t imagine her playing a clinging vine. Too ornery. As Summer, she sees Tom with a level gaze and is who she is. It’s Tom’s bad luck she is sweet and smart and beautiful — it’s not an act. She is always scrupulously honest with him. She is her own person, and Tom can’t have her.
Have you known someone like that? In romance, we believe what we want to believe. That’s the reason "500 Days of Summer" is so appealing. Tom is in love with Summer from the moment he sees her. His thoughts on love may not run as deeply as, say, those of the Romantic poets. He writes greeting cards, and you suspect he may believe his own cards. It’s amazing people get paid for a job like that. I could do it: "Love is a rose, and you are its petals." Summer is his boss's new assistant. She likes his looks, and makes her move one day over the Xerox machine.