Tuesday, 12 March 2013

Gregory's Girl Vs. (500) Days of Summer

"I’ll tell you something - and not a lot of people know this. We are clinging to the surface of this planet, while it spins through space at a thousand miles an hour. Held only by the mystery force called ‘Gravity’. A lot of people panic when you tell them that, and they just fall off. Don’t stop dancing or you’ll fall off." 

My go to feel-good film. Everything from Gregory's gawkiness to the grainy 70's camera brings a home grown, comforting quality to the screen.
Gregory's Girl is un-film like. It could easily be one of those special edition episodes of Grange Hill, with this week honing in on the unassuming Gregory.
  • Although it's a tale of unrequited love, it's devoid of the usual, protracted teenage angst. Gregory completely and unashamedly indulges in being in love - and he's no reason to believe it's anything but.
  • Stills from the films could easily be used in a 70s live-action comic strip. Cue speech bubbles.
  • Scottish accents.

This was originally going to be a post reviewing Gregory's Girl, and one of the points was that Gregory's character is a fore bearer for the boy in love with the notion of love - best and most recently depicted by Joseph Gordon-Levitt in (500) Days of Summer. Thinking about this for a moment, I realised there were more parallels between the two films.

gregory's girl, 500 days of summer, zooey deschanel, joseph gordon levitt
Gregory and Tom
Both are in love with the idea of love. Both project their hopes of happiness on one person and in both cases, it ultimately falls flat. The big difference is that in (500) Days of Summer, Tom allows these hopes to consume him, with everything else in his life paling in comparison. Gregory, on the other hand, is the opposite. Although guilty of the same thing, he's more resilient for it. He's happier for it. Nothing - not even the discouragement from his friends and family - dampens his spirits.
"A lot of boys and girls think their lives will have meaning if they find a partner who wants nothing else in life but them. "That’s not healthy. That’s falling in love with the idea of a person, not the actual person. I would encourage anyone who has a crush on my character to watch it again and examine how selfish he is. He develops a mildly delusional obsession over a girl onto whom he projects all these fantasies. He thinks she’ll give his life meaning because he doesn’t care about much else going on in his life."
 - Joseph Gordon-Levitt
gregory's girl, 500 days of summer, chloe moretz, joseph gordon levitt

The Little Sister
Words of wisdom come from a world-weary, younger sister. The older brother, the character assumed to have the experience if not the answers is the fool in love, the source of much exasperation for the little sibling. Growing up doesn't necessarily mean getting wiser. In fact, you become all the more foolish. And in Gregory's case, there's nothing too wrong with that - again you can actually be happier for it.

  ... & the ever present pessimistic friends
Oh ye of little faith. Always on hand for a sarcastic quip, a stark reality check and light relief which fails to provide the intended pick-me-up our milksop protagonist may sorely need but definitely doesn't want.

gregory's girl, 500 days of summer, matthew gray gubler, joseph gordon levitt


Bay City Rollers: I Only Want To Be With You
The Courteeners: Not Nineteen Forever
Oasis: The Girl In the Dirty Shirt
Bobby Vee: Rubber Ball
Mumm-Ra: She's Got You High
Oasis: She's Electric
Arctic Monkeys: Fluorescent Adolescent
The Searchers: Sweets for my Sweet
The Beach Boys: Help Me Rhonda
The Wombats: Here Comes the Anxiety
The Turtles: Elenore

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