Joseph Gordon Levitt Scores in (500) Days of Summer

But (500) Days of Summer is still a crappy movie

I put in my time with Third Rock From the Sun.  A good eleven minutes over the run of the show.  Maybe even twelve.  I think that puts me among the top viewers of the perpetually annoying series.  I never suspected that any of the actors from Third Rock would break out into big screen careers that I really admire.  And don’t start with me about John Lithgow – he was a weird dude before the show and remains one to this day, his career is inexplicable in innumerable ways.

I realize that when your cast includes French Stewart it’s hard not to stand out as better.  But the stringy- haired, precotious brat played by Joseph Gordon-Levitt was never far behind in irritant factor.  Yet here he is today, grown up and through the awkward kid-to-adult role phase, putting out movie after movie that prove that he really has some acting chops.  He was in a whole load of stuff as a “child actor” but he was just another anonymous face in the world of snotty kids on screen.  Beginning with Mysterious Skin and continuing with Brick and now (500) Days of Summer, Gordon-Levitt has shown the world that he’s got the goods as an adult performer.  He isn’t teen idol pretty, but he’s adorable in a real person way, fearless in the roles he chooses and can play light and affable or amazingly intense.

Not that (500) Days of Summeris a good movie – it actually sucks.  Gordon-Levitt is just really good.  The movie itself is paper thin in plot and theme and uses a repulsive non-linear timeline gimmick to stretch its two scenes into a full length feature.  By structuring it so that we know from scene one that “Summer” breaks our hero’s heart we’re set up to dislike her.  And even though Zooey Deschanel is a decent actress, her quirky schtick is getting old and she can’t overcome the inherent bitchiness of her character.    If Gordon-Levitt wasn’t so likable, it would be physically painful to sit through the entire film.  That any award nominations fell on this piece of crap makes me think the folks at the Golden Globes might be insane.

But Joseph Gordon-Levitt, my friends, is a young man to watch.  I still haven’t seen Stop-Loss or The Lookout and honestly neither would trip my trigger if not for his presence.  But I’m willing to use a Netflix on them just because of his presence.  Yeah, he really is that good.  If you can handle the hard core drama and graphic subject matter, I highly recommend Mysterious Skin (from 2004) if you want to see what this kid is capable of bringing to the screen.

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