Or, what Glen’s been up to when the writing on the new novel and the new stories is done and the kids are abed.
This is the first in what will, I hope, become a regular feature on this irregular blog. It’s also a chance to unpack and retool ye olde critic chops, which I haven’t made proper use of since I stopped contributing regularly to L.A. Weekly to concentrate on fiction and parenting.
Mostly, it’s me at play, talking about things I like talking about, and actually do talk about much more than the tedium of surviving the writing life. Feel free to talk back.
More news soon. I do have a bit. But for now, the first shortie. Many more to come. For real. Soon. Tomorrow.
Summer Movie Smackdown, Indie Romantic Comedy Division: (500 Days) of Summer vs. Adam:
Round One: Performances
1. Two tremendously appealing leads, both sharp.
Two tremendously appealing leads, both sharp.
Round Two: Tone
Pretends to bitterness, fakes sweetness.
Mark Twain funny. That is, full of pain.
3. Use of Setting
Pretty, showy shots of downtown L.A., accompanied with architectural commentary from Gordon-Levitt character meant to establish his knowledge of the discipline. Featured insights include (I’m paraphrasing, but not much) “That one’s old.”
Utterly un-flashy, eerily luminous New York. A bench in the dark in Central Park, light through grime on city windows, Grand Central (the grungy, magnificent exterior, not the stars in the ceiling), a suburban Queens street in the snow.
4. Respect for Audience
Surface-clever, but includes gratuitous anti-contemporary art sequence just to make sure our would-be lovers aren’t, like, smarter than us or anything. Cuts purported bitterness with tacked-on ending.
Makes sure you know that at least one of these characters is much smarter than us, and at least one is more empathetic, and also more courageous, and maybe more clear-eyed. And no matter how it turns out, the movie never lets you forget that both of them are going to hurt.
Simon and Garfunkel for the key wistful bit? Really? Swear I’ve seen that done somewhere before…
Hello, the Weepies. Who are you? Welcome to the Playing Fields. You’ll find your score-mate Maria Taylor over there in the corner, where’s she’s been for a while, now. Along with most of the artists on the 500 Days soundtrack, who’ve been here a whole lot longer.
6. The Payoff
I’m being harder on this movie than it deserves. Partially because it disappointed me; I was really looking forward to it. It’s pleasant enough. And the leads have both graced and will grace better films. But any movie that names our hero’s true Soulmate–the one he meets post-Summer– Autumn deserves all it gets.
In a summer of surprisingly sweet movie surprises, maybe the sweetest surprise of all. Heartfelt, hurtful, and sad, true not only to the challenges faced by people with aspergers but the people who love them.