(500) Days of Summer ★★★

It suffers from being too tightly tied to a single character’s perspective, where that character is a mildly irritating, sad-sack, white boy who thinks his mainstream tastes in music make him interesting. JGL’s performance is charming enough to (mostly) ignore this, but the film is so committed to his banal delusions that ZD’s Summer is never given life beyond the bits constructed for Brian and the audience. 5KDOS’s attempted whimsy is far too controlled and planned to feel authentic. (What If is more successful in its whimsy because of its balance and its supporting cast; Definitely, Maybe is more successful in its structural conceit; and even Scott Pilgrim gives more depth to its female leads.) But, hey, sometimes the not great are still pretty good.