Bye Bye 500 Days Of Summer

18Jul09


500 Days of Summer came out today which means, as an officially released film, it must be officially released from my Top 25. 😦 So sad. Let me go on the record, however, about the casting of the film, which I think they got all wrong. Summer is supposed to be the world’s biggest bitch. There’s a distance to her. She does not own a heart. Casting Zooey Deschenel is a “Hollywood” attempt to fend off the character’s unlikeability – the thinking being that if Zooey Deschenel is doing all these terrible things, we’ll still love her. But it totally undermines the character. Joseph Gordon-Levitt, who’s a great actor, is wrong for Tom for the exact opposite reason. Gordon’s got a tortured James Dean quality to him. Tom’s supposed to be a spineless schmuck that lets people walk all over him. Imagine a slightly better-looking Michael Cera. Gordon-Levitt’s eyes don’t scream out “take advantage of me.” Of course, the financers/producers usually give the filmmakers a list of actors that are marketable enough to justify the budget. So for all I know, the other choices could’ve been Lindsey Lohan and Zac Efron. Maybe these were the best options off a very short list. But anyway, I’ll stop raining on this parade. The movie appears to be getting excellent reviews and still to this day has the best opening three pages of any screenplay I’ve read.

PAGE ONE — NOTE: THE FOLLOWING IS A WORK OF FICTION. ANY RESEMBLANCE TO PERSONS LIVING OR DEAD IS PURELY COINCIDENTAL.

PAGE TWO — ESPECIALLY YOU JENNY BECKMAN.

PAGE THREE – BITCH.

Check out my brief review of the script from long ago here. I hope to be proved wrong about the casting – very wrong – when I check out the movie this week. 🙂

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24 Responses to “Bye Bye 500 Days Of Summer”

  1. 1 Geoff

    OK…have you actually see the movie?

  2. 2 Geoff

    OK…have you actually see the movie?

  3. 3 Carson Reeves

    Haha. Geoff, I saw your post and how much you liked it. That's the thing that's giving me hope. But from my personal opinion of the casting to the sweet feel of the trailers (which I'm hoping is just marketing trying to get people in seats), I'm a little worried because it's not the world I envisioned when reading the script. What about you? Did the movie come out the way you envisioned it?

  4. 4 Carson Reeves

    Haha. Geoff, I saw your post and how much you liked it. That's the thing that's giving me hope. But from my personal opinion of the casting to the sweet feel of the trailers (which I'm hoping is just marketing trying to get people in seats), I'm a little worried because it's not the world I envisioned when reading the script. What about you? Did the movie come out the way you envisioned it?

  5. 5 John

    My favorite movie of the year so far. Will be seeing it again very soon.

  6. 6 John

    My favorite movie of the year so far. Will be seeing it again very soon.

  7. 7 John

    Oh, and the casting of this movie is pitch perfect. Zooey is a revelation and I would pay good money to drink her bath water. I disagree with her character being the world's biggest bitch. If she is played that way, then Tom has no reason to be so infatuated with her and the audience loses their ability to identify with him. Zooey nails it, and is painfully easy to fall in love with, both for the hero and the audience. And I think Gordon-Levitt brings everything to the role that you say Tom needs. He's simply a great actor.

    The film is a modern day "Annie Hall" and will really stand the test of time, IMO. Loved it and can't wait to see it again (for the third time).

  8. 8 John

    Oh, and the casting of this movie is pitch perfect. Zooey is a revelation and I would pay good money to drink her bath water. I disagree with her character being the world's biggest bitch. If she is played that way, then Tom has no reason to be so infatuated with her and the audience loses their ability to identify with him. Zooey nails it, and is painfully easy to fall in love with, both for the hero and the audience. And I think Gordon-Levitt brings everything to the role that you say Tom needs. He's simply a great actor.

    The film is a modern day "Annie Hall" and will really stand the test of time, IMO. Loved it and can't wait to see it again (for the third time).

  9. 9 Carson Reeves

    But she was a huge bitch in the script. That's what made it so cool. The writer seemed so unconcerned with creating conventional archetypes.

    It's not that I don't understand the argument. It's a valid one and in most cases spot on. But I felt like they really found a way to make it work here.

  10. 10 Carson Reeves

    But she was a huge bitch in the script. That's what made it so cool. The writer seemed so unconcerned with creating conventional archetypes.

    It's not that I don't understand the argument. It's a valid one and in most cases spot on. But I felt like they really found a way to make it work here.

  11. 11 Geoff

    There's a two-part answer to this:

    1. From what I understand, the script went through a leeeetle bit of toning-down in the development process. Not in any way neutering what the guys had previously written, but just softening the edges a bit. In that – and I have on good word that this was a feeling that was going to be carefully toned going into actual physical production – Summer is no longer and out-and-out bitch. She is bitchy at times, but she's more apathetically mean now, which I think is fantastic because apathy drives me fucking crazy. And that's the point of Summer.

    Similarly, Tom is less of an out-and-out pussy. He's still pretty much a pussy, but it's more in the way he laments everything that he *allows* Summer to put him through more than that he's just some passive observer. That may seem like character-mincing, but I promise you it's not.

    2. As such, the two are pitch-perfect casting. My obvious love of Zooey and the movie aside…I think I would hardly call her casting a "Hollywood" reaction to unlikability. Sure, she's cute, but she can be AWFUL off-putting, especially if her non-ELF track Box Office record is any indication. She's adorable as usual here, but it doesn't take away from her being…well, a dick.

    JGL is small, skinny, mostly meaningless, and I think he's got more range than you give him credit for. I thought he was fantastic.

    I'll be surprised if you see the movie and don't think at least similarly, but you really should see the movie first. And at least TRY to go in without an preconceived notions of what you're about to get – the trailers are cut the way they're cut to maximize the chances of people seeing it. It is NOT the film the trailers make it out to be, and thank Christ for that.

  12. 12 Geoff

    There's a two-part answer to this:

    1. From what I understand, the script went through a leeeetle bit of toning-down in the development process. Not in any way neutering what the guys had previously written, but just softening the edges a bit. In that – and I have on good word that this was a feeling that was going to be carefully toned going into actual physical production – Summer is no longer and out-and-out bitch. She is bitchy at times, but she's more apathetically mean now, which I think is fantastic because apathy drives me fucking crazy. And that's the point of Summer.

    Similarly, Tom is less of an out-and-out pussy. He's still pretty much a pussy, but it's more in the way he laments everything that he *allows* Summer to put him through more than that he's just some passive observer. That may seem like character-mincing, but I promise you it's not.

    2. As such, the two are pitch-perfect casting. My obvious love of Zooey and the movie aside…I think I would hardly call her casting a "Hollywood" reaction to unlikability. Sure, she's cute, but she can be AWFUL off-putting, especially if her non-ELF track Box Office record is any indication. She's adorable as usual here, but it doesn't take away from her being…well, a dick.

    JGL is small, skinny, mostly meaningless, and I think he's got more range than you give him credit for. I thought he was fantastic.

    I'll be surprised if you see the movie and don't think at least similarly, but you really should see the movie first. And at least TRY to go in without an preconceived notions of what you're about to get – the trailers are cut the way they're cut to maximize the chances of people seeing it. It is NOT the film the trailers make it out to be, and thank Christ for that.

  13. 13 Anonymous

    Carson:

    You are not a casting agent.

    This has become more and more clear the past few days…

    In you're UP IN THE AIR review, you argued that George Clooney isn't a "leader" and has never led other characters on screen. That was a baseless claim…

    And now your commentary on 500 Days is entirely off. This film had perfect casting w/ the two leads. Take a look at Zooey and Joseph's upcoming project offers if you think otherwise…

    Stick to reviewing the scripts.

  14. 14 Anonymous

    Carson:

    You are not a casting agent.

    This has become more and more clear the past few days…

    In you're UP IN THE AIR review, you argued that George Clooney isn't a "leader" and has never led other characters on screen. That was a baseless claim…

    And now your commentary on 500 Days is entirely off. This film had perfect casting w/ the two leads. Take a look at Zooey and Joseph's upcoming project offers if you think otherwise…

    Stick to reviewing the scripts.

  15. 15 Carson Reeves

    Man, you may have just pitched me right into the theater. No wonder you're selling all these pitches.

  16. 16 Carson Reeves

    Man, you may have just pitched me right into the theater. No wonder you're selling all these pitches.

  17. 17 Carson Reeves

    I have learned to enjoy Clooney (used to hate him) but I just remember when he was trying to be a spokesman for Darfur and it was not working. I think that's where my feelings about his lack of leadership surfaced. But yeah, I hope you're right. Would definitely enjoy being proved wrong here.

  18. 18 Carson Reeves

    I have learned to enjoy Clooney (used to hate him) but I just remember when he was trying to be a spokesman for Darfur and it was not working. I think that's where my feelings about his lack of leadership surfaced. But yeah, I hope you're right. Would definitely enjoy being proved wrong here.

  19. 19 Anonymous

    This is a different anonymous from above.

    How exactly did Clooney's involvement in Darfur not work?

    Several other actors followed his lead and they brought a lot of attention to a problem that most people didn't know, or care, about.

    He didn't change the world. But he did as much as anybody else has.

    You really should think things through before posting them.

  20. 20 Anonymous

    This is a different anonymous from above.

    How exactly did Clooney's involvement in Darfur not work?

    Several other actors followed his lead and they brought a lot of attention to a problem that most people didn't know, or care, about.

    He didn't change the world. But he did as much as anybody else has.

    You really should think things through before posting them.

  21. 21 Carson Reeves

    Clooney's interest (just like any A-list celebrity's interest) definitely brought attention to the cause. I'm not debating that. Nor am I saying it wasn't a good thing. Just commenting on Clooney leadership specifically. Don't you remember what happened at the end there? When Clooney really had a chance to step up, when they really wanted him to take on a bigger role and help out, he completely backed down. You don't remember that?

  22. 22 Carson Reeves

    Clooney's interest (just like any A-list celebrity's interest) definitely brought attention to the cause. I'm not debating that. Nor am I saying it wasn't a good thing. Just commenting on Clooney leadership specifically. Don't you remember what happened at the end there? When Clooney really had a chance to step up, when they really wanted him to take on a bigger role and help out, he completely backed down. You don't remember that?

  23. 23 Anonymous

    Is there any way I can get this script? Would like to read it before seeing the film..

  24. 24 Anonymous

    Is there any way I can get this script? Would like to read it before seeing the film..


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