One of the downsides of being a film critic is that we see so many movies, we get a bit hard-hearted. It can't be helped. We certainly go into every film with the hope that we'll love it ... but after seeing literally thousands of them, that emperor is buck naked, We recognize every recycled plot, every hackneyed bit of dialogue, every lazy directorial trick.
On the plus side, no one is happier to really, truly enjoy a movie than a film critic. And as jaded as I am (my husband jokes that I have a "cold, tiny, black heart" where genres like romantic comedies are concerned) I get an extra burst of pleasure when I see a film like (500) Days of Summer -- a movie so charming, so smart, so clever and well-crafted, it reminds me why I fell in love with movies in the first place.
I won't review it or recap the plot here. The film opened in select markets this weekend, and will open in the secondary markets on July 24. There are plenty of places that you can go to read what will doubtless be glowing reviews (our own Erik Davis reviewed it here, although he was far less enamored of it than I was.)
No, I'll just take a moment to say that if I could wrap my arms around (500) Days of Summer and give it a big hug, I would do so. Partly because of the film's entire tone. It's a comedy about a romance, but it's not really a romantic comedy -- and certainly not a "chick flick." It's somewhat sentimental, but not treacly. It uses an interesting, non-linear framing device, but never feels gimmicky.