Consider the lovely romance of "(500) Days of Summer" if you haven't yet, but for an even richer experience first read Christopher Hawthorne, our architecture critic, and his take on this paean to L.A.'s architectural history, a featured player in the film. Stars Joseph Gordon-Levitt and Zooey Deschanel -- who both do retro extremely well -- represent, as Hawthorne puts it, the emo tribe and thus a very specific vision of our city's bone structure. The movie itself is a charming excursion into the ways of love as it wanders downtown's dusty streets. But with Gordon-Levitt as an aspiring architect nearly as fascinated with the buildings as with the girl, we see the mortar and stone that first defined L.A. as "city," that gave it a beating heart, a central core. Hawthorne's piece on our Culture Monster blog explains all, making "(500) Days" sweeter still.
-- Betsy Sharkey