"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?