9/20/2009 11:51:00 pm

Summer Lovin'

Posted by Tom French |

500 Days of Summer.jpg

Lesley, Jem and I went to see (500) Days of Summer this afternoon to celebrate Lesley's 40th birthday.

It's good. It is a refreshing take on love from Hollywood. It seems pitched at the late-Gen X/early-Gen Y crew. The ones who are jaded, and self-aware, and pop-culture savvy. And the ones who believe in love because they've believed the Hollywood story that true love is out there, you just have to find the one.

There was lots of good film making. Inventive ways to tell a conventional story. Good mixing of reality and character's imagination. There was a wonderful scene where the main character's (Tom's) expectations of an upcoming party were played along side the reality as it happened. It was for me, so real. I'm always making up stories about how things are going to go, how they might go, and how I'd like them to go, especially when it comes to girls, and it never happens that way I plan, want or expect. Reality is too good at throwing unforeseen dimensions into the mix.

Usually at the end of films about love they make me want to be in love. Especially films with good sound tracks and quirky female leads like Garden State. But this film, I'm not so sure. It had the sound track and the quirky female lead. Admittedly, it's not a love story, just a film about love. But it was optimistic enough that it wasn't trying to turn you off trying to find your true love. But the film didn't leave me feeling like that. It left me feeling like I had watched something real. Perhaps not real in that relationships happen in quite the way the film portrayed, but the film certainly had an emotional authenticity that resonated with me.

It did leave me thinking "Who would bother having a relationship?" Tom, the main character said at one point "Loneliness is underrated" which totally made sense to me. Maybe I'm just coming from a perspective where relationships are all effort and no pay off, but if there is anything all my many years of unrequited love and singleness have taught me, it's that being alone doesn't kill you. And in fact, as long as there's no-one you want to be with, being alone is perfectly enjoyable. That said, I've seen enough good relationships, watched enough movies, read enough books and had enough crushes to know that I probably am missing out on something. But whatever it is, it's elusive and I'm happy, so I shan't stress too much.

At least I shan't stress until I watch Garden State again. Bloody Natalie Portman!

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