July 26, 2009

MOVIES:500 Days of Summer (a supplemental rant)

But there is one thing...

The gimmick of 500 Days of Summer has us bouncing back and forth through the 500 days of the central relationship, with each scene being introduced by a title card showing us which day this is -- day 17, day 483, day 129, day 6, and so on.

Three days during the movie are specifically identified as particular days of the week. Day 28 is a Friday; day 442 is a Thursday; day 500 is a Friday. If you do the math, you'll that those day-of-the-week assignments are mutually incompatible. That is, if day 28 is a Friday, then day 442 is actually a Saturday and day 500 a Monday. A minor thing, certainly, and one which most people won't even notice. But when your movie is built around one structural gimmick, surely you should pay attention to such details.

And how much effort was needed to fix the problem? Changing two title cards (days 28/31 to days 26/29) and one word of dialogue (Day 442's "It's Thursday" to "It's Monday") would have made the movie's numbering internally consistent.

It doesn't keep 500 Days of Summer from being a worthwhile movie, but it's a shame to see a movie that's otherwise so smartly written marred by such a lazy bit of sloppiness.

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