Posts Tagged ‘romantic comedy movie’

Cleverly and clumsily, love cycles in and out of focus in ‘Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind’

December 18, 2012

Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind begins on a drab winter morning in 2004. It so happens to be Valentine’s Day. Impulsively, Joel Barish leaves the New York City-bound platform and jumps onto an outward-bound train at the very last moment. After calling in sick, he disconsolately wanders the beach at Montauk, on the eastern end of Long Island.

He sits down, opens his journal and dispassionately notes that it appears to have been two years since he made an entry. Barish’s life appears to be as cold, empty and colorless as his surroundings.

However, a young woman with blue hair and an orange jacket wanders the beach as Barris does, eats in a diner as he does, waits on Montauk’s westbound train platform as he does. She waves; he ducks away. On the train, they sit in the same car. Barish sketches her; she tries to engage him in conversation, moving closer and closer to him.

She is Clementine Kruczynski, and she is drawn to Barish in ways that she doesn’t appear to understand. He certainly doesn’t understand the attraction either.  Read the rest of this entry »

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Season of the fink: ‘(500) Days of Summer’ offers a quirky but not always satisfying vacation from (some) romantic comedy conventions

November 30, 2012

Director Marc Webb’s 2009 romantic comedy tries to break the romantic comedy mold.

And it tries hard — it really does! Instead of beginning with boy meets girl, (500) Days of Summer (parentheses in title — quirky!) actually starts with its male lead’s post-breakup meltdown. As his two best buddies and his sister try to console him, distraught Tom Hansen (Joseph Gordon-Levitt) moans that the woman who has broken his heart is the One with whom he was meant to spend his life.

As the movie’s narrator warns us, this is a story about love — not a love story. The female lead herself warns Hansen early on that she doesn’t want a boyfriend. But Webb and writers Scott Neustadter and Michael H. Weber have switched things up: In this movie, it’s the man who needs a commitment! (Gender role reversal — so unusual!)

The winsome heartbreaker here is Summer Fynn (oddball name — how indy!), winsomely played by Zooey Deschanel. Fynn and Hansen cross paths at a small greeting card company in Los Angeles where he is a frustrated architect cum writer and she is a Michigander cum Los Angeleno. She has just moved to California (simply because she wanted something different — mark of a free-thinker, y’all!) and gotten a job as an assistant to the card company’s CEO.

Fynn is irresistible to men although she is of average height and weight, the narrator rather irrelevantly notes. Hansen, who believes that everyone has one and only one soulmate thanks to a serious misreading of the movie The Graduate, falls for Fynn the moment he sees her. Then he discovers that she’s exactly the right kind of quirky: She likes the Smiths and all the other stuff he does! Hansen tries to play things cool, but it’s clear that he’s in deep trouble. Read the rest of this entry »

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