Thursday, August 13, 2009

Corrupting Little Morgan's Belief in Love; "500 Days of Summer"

"I didn't really understand it," she said, staring up curiously at my somewhat somber face.

I looked down at Little Morgan and shook my head slowly; with a melodramatic sigh, I said: "I hope you never have to."

We were walking out of "500 Days of Summer," a film about the rocky relationship of Tom Hansen (Joseph Gordon-Levitt) and Summer Finn (Zooey Deschanel), two Los Angelans who work together at a greeting cards company. My response to Little Morgan was referring to my hope that she never has to understand the ups-and-downs, confusions, woes, heartaches, bitterness, abandonments, etc. that accompany relationships.

Of course, Little Rat was referring to the non-linear timeline of the film, which follows 500 days of Tom and Summer's relationship, certainly not my cliched and embarrassing projections that came out in the form of a slow head shake and a short-lived clutch of her shoulders.

The film jumps around from day 1, to day 26, to day 149, back to day 4, for example, so each scene is preceded by a number in parenthesis to indicate the day and guide you as to the state of the relationship. Hence her confusion.

Tom is a hopeless, hopeless romantic who falls madly in love with Summer upon first sight ([Day]1); Summer is a colder sort, one given to casual liaisons and defensive diatribes on the falsity of love. ([Day] 1, 2, 7, 147, 208, 49). Tom quickly wins her over, during a company karaoke night; her knees buckle, but her heart doesn't. All that jazz. She's a jerk, but he's stuck in love with a girl who doesn't want him.

I got teary-eyed, again. I think it's something in this Texas water ... Little Morgan kept looking over at me, and while I usually send back a Death Stare to tell her not to bother me with her little questions about whatever film's plot, this time I just gave her a sad face and took her hand. Combined with Julie & Julia, that kid's gotten more Big Morgan love than she's probably seen in the last few years put together (give or take).


Overall, I thought the film does a fine job of depicting the nuances of a relationship. When you relate to the boy, Tom, you're overcome with all the feelings you've had when you've been with someone who took you for granted; who didn't give their all to you; who didn't ask you seemingly-little things ... like how your day was.

When you side with Summer, you feel she's right for being selfish; her casual flightiness is suddenly acceptable because you remember the times when you yourself were a jerk to someone because maybe you didn't think they were worth your time. Scruples were lost on you at that time, and you rationalized your not-so-kind behavior.

When I explained this to Heathen Child, The Rat didn't seem to understand why the higher in number the days went, that didn't necessarily correlate to a higher level of happiness.

I had to resist the urge to say, "All in good time, Child, all in good time." Instead, I took her to Wendy's for a Frosty, though I miiiiight've said she ought to break up with her little boyfriend Dustin:

"Hey, it's your last year in elementary school -- you really want someone tying you down?" I intoned.

What's wrong with me?


Paramendra Bhagat said...


Paramendra Bhagat said...

And I was thinking why I woke up at this ungodly hour.

justified said...

I hate to admit this, but I have secretly been waiting for you to write about 500 days of summer! Haha. Enjoyed the post, I agree with relating to both characters at some point in the movie. That's prob why I enjoyed the movie so much.

Morgan said...

Mr. Aldous, I'm glad you liked it! It took me a few days to write ... I started it right after we saw it, but I couldn't get my thoughts right. Then I took a weekend hiatus to Austin (with a bunch of old Creek folk -- great time. Maybe even did some dancing [!]) and let the movie settle into my brains a bit, I think.

Today I think we're going to see Time Traveler's Wife ... I wouldn't be seeing it, but Little Morgan only has a week left before school starts, so I'm being a pushover.