If you’ve ever mooned over a girl, this movie’s for you. Yes, savour that paper-cut smile. You know the girl I’m talking about. You met her in your teens or your early twenties. She had a way of dressing just so. Her quirks were sonnet-worthy. She probably rode a bike, or played an obscure instrument. The chances of the relationship working were nil, but her cool only encouraged you. For you, love was all about delay. So you pratted about; writing a script for the pair of you, while she eyed up someone else. It ended. You met the right girl. And now you get to laugh fondly at yourself in 500 Days of Summer.
Sometimes I try to picture M. Night Shyamalan’s producers, standing around dumbfounded as he takes a good premise and meticulously f—s it up. Ever since he made The Sixth Sense, Shyamalan has been refining what was bad about that movie (the portentousness, the hollow profundity) and setting aside the good. Credit where credit is due, he got a good performance out of Bruce Willis once upon a time. But five movies later, anyone, everyone – his producers included – would have to conclude, reluctantly, that M. Night Shyamalan has lost it. The Happening is the most abysmal movie I’ve seen this year. And this is the year I saw Southland Tales.