500 Days of Summer
This is a story of boy meets girl, but you should know upfront, this is not a love story. Tom Hansen (Joseph Gordon-Levitt) is trained architect working at a greeting card company. He is your average guy with two best friends and a little sister who give him relationship advice. On January 8th, Tom’s boss introduces his new assistant Summer Finn (Zooey Deschanel) to the office workers. It was love at first sight for Tom. Soon after the job has a special karaoke night at the local bar, where the two become acquainted with each other. The film continues on a non-linear romantic comedy story taking course within 500 days of their “relationship”
Director Marc Webb is cleaver in his approach to this film. The initial thought I had about this film is that it would be another cheesy love story with nothing new to bring to cinema. However 500 Days easily become one of my favorites. An important aspect to this film is how the story is presented. Often at times the film will jump around days from 55 to 267 for example purposes. Often when this occurs earlier on in the relationship when things are going well between Tom and Summer; then it will jump to day 267 and the two will be complete annoyed with each other. This allows the imagination to be at work wondering what went wrong with the relationship as the days go by. This approach also allowed for “500 Days” to be shown in a perfect run time of 95 minutes rather then a long drawn out time.
Levitt and Deschanel are completely able to bring the characters to life. Apart of the success is due to the fact the two are both like-able and have flaws that are universal. A great scene is when they are running around Ikea playing husband and wife together; sharing laughs and being cute together. Fast forward a decent amount of days and you see the two try to recreate the first time they were at Ikea and it doesn’t play off as well. It is often said that this film is more so a “chick flick” for Men. I’m not sure if I agree entirely. The films incredibly realistic outlook on relationships, feelings, behaviors, and destiny mixed in with great comedy allows it to be open to both Men and Women. 500 Days may not be of interest for people who are not into romantic comedies. It is also an independent film, so it doesn’t have “stars” occupying the run time, but still with some great acting and some artsy moments.
My favorite thing about this film is it’s love letter to cinema intertwined into the films story. In the film they recreate a couple scenes from well known classic movies, my favorite being The Seventh Seal and a great musical scene. Another great sequence and probably the most talked about is the Expectations vs Reality. A great example of what goes through the minds of individuals everyday when their expectations don’t meet their realities.
To be honest this film can be bitter sweet. As great as the story and cinematography is, it’s just such an emotional roller coaster. It will have you wanting a relationship, to hating relationships, wanting to give up on life for a few days, and surging up the motivation to become active again… Well maybe not that dramatic but close enough.
Overall 500 Days a Summer is a beautifully written story between man and women becoming interested in each other. The film’s outcome will have you discussing with your friends on a number of topics pertaining to relationships, destiny, and life in general. 500 Days may not be of interest for people who are not into romantic comedies. It is also an independent film, so it doesn’t have “stars” occupying the run time, but still with some great acting and some artsy moments. If you’ve seen this who do you think was right? Summer or Tom
Rating: ★★★★★ / ★★★★★
Dir. Marc Webb
IMDb 7.8/10 – Rotten Tomatoes 87%
Won Independent Spirit Awards – Best Screenplay
Nominated for 2 Golden Globes (Best Comedy & Actor)
“Misery, sadness, loss of faith, no reason to live… This is perfect for you.”