Sunday, December 27, 2009

Some Ramblings About Love Inspired By The Movie (500) Days Of Summer

Love is a strange and wonderful thing. It may be something that's nearly impossible to catch on film because it's such an individual feeling. Some think it's breathlessness. Some think it's a constant state of happiness. Some think it's safety. Some think it's comfort. Most of the time, if you try to capture it, you lessen it. You somehow make it commercial.

"Please, Please, Please, Let Me Get What I Want" by The Smiths is a pretty damn good love song.

I think the most interesting spin on love is in Punch Drunk Love when Barry (Adam Sandler) says to Dean (Philip Seymour Hoffman) "I have so much strength in me you have no idea. I have a love in my life. It makes me stronger than anything you can imagine."

I think that people get passion confused with love. They're not the same thing. The trunk scene between Jack (George Clooney) and Karen (Jennifer Lopez) in Out of Sight is hot, but love isn't involved.

My parents got engaged the first night that they met. They've been married nearly 50 years. That's a pretty amazing story and I love to tell it. I could have allowed that to really screw up my sense of what love is, but I didn't. My wife and I dated a year before we were married. I'm very much in love with her.

Love is not standing by her window with a boom box over your head, blasting music.

For some reason, a man staring at the top of a woman's head signifies love. George (Jimmy Stewart) staring at Mary's (Donna Reed) hair while she's on the phone in It's A Wonderful Life and Rupert (Gene Hackman) staring at the top of Mrs. Pell's (Frances McDormand) head in Mississippi Burning. It seems strange, but love is in the smallest things.

I find the love story between Parry (Robin Williams) and Lyndia (Amanda Plummer) in The Fisher King to be very intoxicating.

I think When Harry Met Sally is a pretty damn good love story because friendship is a big part of loving someone.

I prefer movies that don't try to define love or understand it, but instead just go with it. For that reason, I didn't care much for (500) Days of Summer. It felt a bit too self conscious for me. The storytelling technique felt fresh, but the story didn't. Do you think that part of Zooey Deschanel's contract insists that she sings in every one of her movies?


brian said...

I can't go with you on this one, Pipe.

I thought it was good for three reasons:

1. The nonsequential construct was creative, inventive and captured love in a way I've not seen

2. Strong female lead kept surprising me

3. Zooey.

PIPER said...


I agree that the structure was interesting and it kept things fresh, but I didn't feel that that story broke new ground. Instead it tried to examine what "love" was and it did it very self-consciously. I like Zooey, but felt her character to be a tad mean at the end.

brian said...

She was mean, I guess that's why she surprised me.

"I was sure about him in a way I never was with you."


PIPER said...


That was the best line of the movie and in a way it redeemed it a bit for me. In that line, she said that love is not an equation. You can't break it down to this and that. It's just something you feel and if you don't feel it, you don't feel it. Just because I like the frickin Smiths, doesn't mean that I'm the "One."

MovieMan0283 said...

Piper, I agree, though I got taken to task for my own negative (heck, not even overwhelmingly negative) review a while back:

Nice to see someone else had a similar take...

By the way, I am round-up a "best of the blogosphere" by soliciting bloggers' own choices for their strongest work (ultimately I'll choose between their picks and whatever I can recall from my own sporadic gallavanting through the blogosphere over the past 12 months). Here's the relevant post:

And while I'm bogging down your blog with links, I did attempt a follow-up, a rather sorry if honest one, to your "nine resolutions" meme in the early, innocent months of 2009:

Happy new new year...

Burbanked said...


I liked 500 DAYS more when I thought of it not as a love or relationship story, but as Tom's story alone. Imagine Summer not existing as a true person, but only as a function of Tom's perspective. That way, she's not beautiful or terrific or mean or heartless or wonderful or ideal or whatever. She's simply what Tom wants her to be, depending on the specific moment he's experiencing along his path of maturity. That's why the split screen bit at her engagement party is such an intriguing filmmaking device to show Tom's final realization.

Andy said...


Your father told me the story of his engagement over a drink last semester. I couldn't believe it. After I absorbed it, that's the sort of faith it takes to recognize love. It has the tendency to hide, maybe behind our fear of commitment. To accept that deep feeling of simply knowing, and have the great courage to act is something to admire. (500) Days was a nice little film, indeed.

Andrew Ciaccio
Student - Bailey Lauerman Creative Intern

PIPER said...


I'll check out your review and your multiple links. Thanks for them and I'll look in to submitting what I deem to be the best of the decade so that you can ultimately deem what is the best.


It took me a couple of days, but that's where I ended up and when you look at that, I like the film much more. It's an examination of love that says that love is something you can't break down, you just need to go with.

But I'm still not a fan of some of the elements. His relationship with his sister felt a bit too cute for me, the fact that he worked for a seemed too much of a planned coincidence. Some of it felt honest and yet some of it felt cameron crowe-ish.

Burbanked said...

wow - I'd completely blocked the sister part right out. Shows how much I thought of it, I guess.

So is "cameron crowe-ish" the new dishonest?

PIPER said...


There are movies that see themselves as stories told with pictures and then there are movies that see themselves as movies. Cameron Crowe-ish just means that it gets caught up in the cuteness of being a movie. Everything is just a little too perfect. Maybe that means it's the new dishonest. Could be.

Garrett Sorrels said...

Pat, I wish you liked it. I thought it was a good movie, I definitely enjoyd myself watching it. I don't know if i really saw it as a love story, but more of how burbanked summed it up about it being a story in Tom's life from his perspective. I also liked how it was more about experiencing heart break and how its a natural part of life. It sucks to love someone when they don't love you back, but I think its kind of a positive thing too in the journey of life. Too cheesy?

PIPER said...


To be clear, it's not like I hated this movie. I just didn't like it like I thought I would. I was a bit disappointed with it. But it wasn't a waste of my time.

When I look at like Burbanked suggested, it's a much better movie.

And Andy,

Thanks for commenting. I'm glad my Dad shared that story with you. It's a good one. And if you get a chance, kick Rich Claussen in the nuts for me.