WHAT IT’S ABOUT?
Tom is a hip twentysomething greeting-card writer whose dreary cubicle-dwelling existence is unalterably changed with the arrival of Summer his boss’s perky new assistant. Immediately intrigued by the bright-eyed Midwestern transplant lovelorn Tom is easy prey for Summer’s beguiling combination of beauty wit and approachability and soon finds himself wholly smitten. The feeling at least a portion of it is mutual and when sparks fly between them at an office karaoke party the two begin dating — much to Tom’s delight. Beyond the physical attraction he and Summer share a surprising amount of things in common and would appear to be a perfect match save for one crucial detail: Tom is an inveterate romantic who clings stubbornly to the notion of two people joined by destiny while Summer coldly eschews such old-fashioned notions of love and romance. Thus the stage is set for a battle of dueling philosophies played out over the course of their topsy-turvy 18-month relationship.
WHO’S IN IT?
Joseph Gordon-Levitt (G.I. Joe: The Rise of Cobra The Lookout) happily returns to his comedic roots in the role of the cynical yet sensitive hipster Tom while the always adorable Zooey Deschanel (Elf Yes Man) sparkles as his mystifying paramour. (500) Days of Summer background players include Geoffrey Arend (TV’s Trust Me) Matthew Gray Gubler (TV’s Criminal Minds) Clark Gregg (Iron Man Choke) and Chloe Moretz who is particularly enjoyable as Tom’s unusually wise kid sister/quasi-therapist Rachel.
Smart witty and quirky but never in a pretentious or self-satisfied way (500) Days of Summer is simply a well-crafted romantic comedy lent added resonance by strong performances on the part of its two lead actors Deschanel and Gordon-Levitt. The only potentially gimmicky aspects of the film are its non-linear structure which bounces around to different key dates in the couples’ 500-day relationship and the wry commentary provided by the comically hubristic narrator. I found neither to be especially irksome.
The only time when (500) Days of Summer veers toward cliche is when Tom interacts with his pals McKenzie and Paul who too often resemble the quintessential buffoonish sidekicks we’ve seen dispense bad advice in so many romantic comedies before.
After his first night spent with Summer Tom wakes up ebullient and celebrates with a triumphant elaborately-choreographed dance routine to the tune of Hall & Oates’ “You Make My Dreams.” He’s soon joined by a chorus of passers-by a marching band and even some Disney-fied animated birds. Few times have the joys of a newly-consummated relationship been so expertly — and hilariously — portrayed.
If you’re sick of the standard bombastic summer fare (500) Days of Summer is the perfect antidote.
Controversial new movie adaptation The Da Vinci Code has prompted religious protests in the Indian city of Mumbai (Bombay).
Hundreds of Catholic stalwarts have today gathered outside a convent school in the city in a bid to stop the film's release next week, blasting it as an attack on their faith.
Members of the Catholic Secular Forum (CSF) have taken offense to the movie's depiction of Catholic group Opus Dei as corrupt, out-dated and at the center of a cover-up of the truth about Jesus Christ.
CSF general secretary Joseph Dias says, "Activists will go on a fast unto death if the government fails to take action against anti-Christian movies.
"You can't make fiction on a religious figure. Tempers are already running quite high and there's no way of saying what could happen if the movie is released."
In a statement, the group added: "The Da Vinci Code is offensive as it hit certain basic foundations of the religion."
The protest is the second in a week by the CSF after Tuesday saw approximately one hundred demonstrators take to the streets outside a Mumbai church and burn copies of the Dan Brown novel.
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Ryan (Freddie Prinze Jr.) and Jennifer (Claire Forlani) first met on a plane when they were 12. He’s terrified of planes she promptly tells him about her first period so it’s granted that they don’t exactly click. Fast-forward to high school where they bump into each other again. Now he’s the school mascot she’s the homecoming queen. No sparks. Fast forward to college where he’s the geeky engineering major (yes you read correctly) and she’s the free-spirited rocker-dating Latin student. Finally here they become friends help each other with their love issues and despite their opposing viewpoints … well take a guess.
Prinze the BMOC in "She’s All That " is supposed to be an anal-retentive doofus. And while the pageboy cut (split down the middle) and glasses do little to mask his good looks he plays against type surprisingly well doing his best to rise above the cliché-filled script. Forlani who was calm and luminous in the sluggish "Meet Joe Black " still has "proper British upbringing" written all over her so she’s not really believable as an outrageous one-night-stander (she also looks too old for Prinze). Heather Donahue (showing a promising comedy career post-"Blair Witch") and Amanda Detmer make a great supporting cast but the show is stolen by an underused Jason Biggs. As Ryan’s woman-chasing roommate Biggs also gets the single funniest scene in the film which you’ll miss if you walk about before the credits roll.
"She’s All That" director Robert Iscove is back and using the same traits again. First we have the you-are-there flashback narration ("So I was watching him play with his band " a character might reflect in her dorm room and suddenly she’s sitting at the concert still in her pajamas). Then there’s the choreographed dance number. Disguised as a scene to show Ryan trying to loosen up at a "foam club" (like a car wash soapy water douses the dancers) it’s really an excuse to show off Iscove’s choreography background by having all patrons wiggle simultaneously to Apollo Four Forty’s "Stop the Rock." It’s cute and all but the biggest faux pas Iscove makes is having Ryan and Jennifer take a "walk" from Berkeley … and miraculously wind up at the Golden Gate bridge.