Summer, played by Zooey Deschanel, is a beautiful free spirit with an endearingly cute retro hairdo and impeccable taste in music. Well, if you’re mentally retarded. If you have any brain power she’s a cold, manipulative cock tease who has a stupid bowl haircut and who listens to lameass indie rock. She proves herself to be a wretched human being.
Her beau is equally deranged. He’s the sort of incredibly unique American who loves British indie rock. He’s really an individual. Some even say that he was the first person in the States to discover The Smiths. I mean, what the fucking fuck? Why is it that wherever I go in America I have to be tortured by Morrissey and Marr? And why is it that every film or every American who references them seems to think that this is some underground pleasure – that they’re an obscure band. They’re not. Everywhere I go they’re polluting the airwaves. I go to a comedy gig and I hear ‘Panic’. I go to a party and I hear ‘Girlfriend in a Coma’. I go into a store and I hear ‘How Soon is Now’. Tom and Summer are not unique, quirky, enlightened individuals because they listen to the fucking Smiths.
Even worse, Tom later ponces about in a Joy Division t-shirt. So you go from wanky to just plain dull? The only redeeming thing is that Tom also has a Jesus and Mary Chain poster on his wall. But do you hear ‘Reverence’ or ‘Sidewalking’ on the soundtrack? No that would kick far too much ass.
Early in the film Summer plainly states that she doesn’t believe in true love and doesn’t want to have a relationship. Fair enough, you want to die alone in your apartment and have your face eaten by your cats. I understand that. But then after fucking Tom they go to Ikea. I’m sorry, but nothing more plainly states that you’re in a relationship than going to Ikea together. You might as well be walking down the aisle or surgically sewing your foreheads together. If you’re going to Ikea and buying furnishings and arsing about and thinking about how you’d arrange a group of Billys and looking at each other in a lovey-dovey way, you’re in a fucking relationship motherfuckers!
Quite why Tom gets so besotted with this woman is hard to understand. Everything about her is cold and flighty. But bless him, Tom falls head over heels. And it’s easy to share his confusion when Summer insists that despite the fact that they fuck and hang out and have a good time, they’re not in a relationship. What the fuck bitch, we just went to Ikea and bought a Poang!
Summer would be far less hateful a figure if she wasn’t so damn manipulative. In one scene she has an argument with Tom and says that they’re not in a relationship and then later she turns up at his door, apologises and begins kissing him. She mind-fucks him all over the place.
And then to turn her into a Stalin-esque figure of evil she dances with Tom at a wedding, while, unbeknownst to him, she pursues a relationship with another man (a man whom we later find she’s engaged to). Everything she does just makes me want to kick her into the infinite abyss and shout, ‘This is SPARTA!’ She’s worse than Hitler. Hitler wouldn’t say that he doesn’t believe in true love or relationships, fuck a guy, break up, dance with the guy at a wedding and then announce his engagement to a different guy a few days later. This kind of evil is Summer’s alone. ‘Oh, I don’t believe in attachments. People shouldn’t belong to one another. We should all just encounter one another; have beautiful encounters and then move onto the next. Wouldn’t that be nice? Oh wait, I’ve changed my mind and I’m getting married. You just weren’t enough to keep me interested and satisfied. So sorry.’
There’s actually a scene where the heartbroken Tom sits on a bench and Summer turns up out of the blue to talk to him. Sadly Tom doesn’t piledrive her through the bench. Nor does he Stone Cold Stun her. Instead they talk rationally and calmly. The only thing that wasn’t calm was me when I was watching the film. ‘Why are you letting her humiliate you like this? I understand you’re not going to fulfil my secret desire and kick her into the infinite abyss, but at least give her a tongue lashing. Or even just walk away. That would at least show a bit of class.’ But no he lets her have her say. [insert Bennett out of Commando type scream]
One of the few laughs that the film contains is when a depressed Tom writes a greeting card (this being a ‘quirky’ indie film, he of course has to have a silly job – writing the text in cards). A Valentine’s Day card contains the following: ‘Roses are red, violets are blue. Fuck you, whore!’ Pretty awesome. I also liked the skipping along the street scene when Tom realises he’s in love with Summer. It brilliantly captures the feeling of walking on air, and taken on it’s own it’s a marvellous scene, but then you remember he feels like this because of Summer and everything’s suddenly tainted.
It’s kind of hard to understand what you’re supposed to get out of a film like this. The film isn’t realistic enough to capture the true despair of a broken relationship and the characters are far too stupid and hateful for it to serve as an interesting diversion. The film might aim for sadness and melancholy but there’s no depth of feeling here. It’s hipster central. And in the end Tom doesn’t learn his lesson – of course, this being standard quirky indie fare, Tom has to better himself and find his true calling. And while being interviewed for a new job, he falls for a girl called Autumn. Oh how clever. But in reality his experience with Summer would either lead to a lasting depression or a severing of human emotion – he’d either become a monk or senselessly fuck everything in sight. But then that would be far too real for this piece of crap.