Over the weekend, I checked out the new movie “(500) Days of Summer,” and, as the narrator tells you up front, this is “not a love story.” So I’m not spoiling anything by relating to you that it deals with breakups, bad relationships, and heartache. But at its heart, this is a comedy, an anti-romantic comedy, and it succeeds in its tongue-in-cheek mocking of the genre. Both of the leads, Zooey Deschanel and Joseph Gordon-Levitt, were pitch-perfect.
Their characters, Tom Hansen and Summer Finn, seem to be a perfectly matched hipster pair, and yet somehow they just don’t work out. The writing of the characters is a little uneven, as only Tom is given a real passion, as a greeting card writer who wants to be an architect, while the character of Summer is somehow less whole, possibly airy by design. They explain that she is beguiling and has a certain charm that’s hard to define, but you don’t really get to the core of what she’s all about apart from “not believing in love.” With his slim stature and crooked smile, it’s hard not to route for Gordon-Levitt, despite his previous stint on one of the worst shows of our time. One of my favorite things about the film is that its chronology is scrambled—so that Tom and Summer’s initial meeting and their eventual break-up occur, in film time, close together and near the beginning, getting it out of the way and letting the film unfold around the much more interesting business of everything that happened in between. It was one of the better new movies I’ve seen lately—overall, A-.
The movie actually had a great soundtrack; there are a few new songs I will be listening to more in the weeks to come, but for today’s Jam, I wanted to feature one of the most haunting break-up songs I’ve heard lately, from Swedish singer Lykke Li. I have been listening to everything new from Lykke Li since I couldn’t get “Dance Dance Dance” and “Little Bit” out of my head last year. Her latest collaboration with Swedish producer Kleerup is equally captivating. His debut album, Kleerup, was released last year in Europe but is getting released in the US next week, on July 28th. The heavy lyrics about a bad relationship are set to dance beats and somehow it works, mostly due to Li’s wounded and lingering vocals. Li will be in the New York metro area soon, when she performs at the All Points West Music Festival in Jersey City on August 2nd. Hopefully ev2bk will be there to check it out!
Kleerup ft. Lykke Li – Until We Bleed: