(500) Days of Summer (7/31/12)

(500) Days of SummerMovie One Hundred Seventy Eight

A man and woman’s entire meeting, friendship, relationship, and breakup are detailed during the (500) Days of Summer.

Tom (Joseph Gordon-Levitt) works at a greeting card company when one day, he sees the girl of his dreams, Summer (Zooey Deschanel). Instantly in love, Tom makes it his mission to be with Summer and over time, the two become friends. Summer is reluctant to be in a relationship, but her and Tom become more than friends. After their breakup, Tom seeks advice from his best friends and younger sister, Rachel (Chloe Grace Moretz) on what to do. The story is told in a non-linear fashion, jumping back and forth between the stages of Tom and Summer’s entire relationship.

According to the omniscient narrator, (500) Days of Summer is not a love story, simply the story of “boy meets girl” and since we know from the start that Summer and Tom break up, I suppose that is true. I strongly hesitate to call this a romantic comedy and while it does have the necessary elements of a rom-com, it is decidedly not a “chick flick”.

Had this film been made in the 80s, Tom would have almost certainly been played by John Cusack but Joseph Gordon-Levitt does an admirable job. Zooey Deschanel plays her usual cute, quirky self here but since this was the movie that kind of put her on the map, she is a bit more subdued than she is in that annoying Apple commercial. I think all of us have known girls like Summer, perhaps even dated one and I certainly can relate to Tom (though I wish I had his sense of dress). Having such a funny, realistic story really makes (500) Days of Summer a really enjoyable film.

Marc Webb, who recently directed the Amazing Spider-Man, is at the helm for (500) Days of Summer and his style works brilliantly with the characters and the drawings done on screen. The way the story plays out and the title card animations indicating the number of day reminded me a bit of Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind, a connection I hadn’t made before but Eternal Sunshine is fresh in my mind now. Since relationship movies are practically a dime a dozen, when one stands out, it’s usually a good thing. (500) Days of Summer has the right amount of kitsch, humor, and sadness to make it memorable even if you don’t care for Zooey Deschanel.

I give it 4 life becoming arts out of 5.

Links:

Rotten Tomatoes

IMDB

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30 responses to “(500) Days of Summer (7/31/12)

  1. Great review, saw this on a plane to Cuba, passed the time but it was very good, I always remember deschanel character being a bit cold, perhaps a revisit. Good choice of review.

  2. Very nice review. I wasn’t the biggest Deschanel fan but I’m warming up to her, especially after New Girl. 500DOS is one of my favorite films from recent years. A breath of fresh air.

  3. I’ve never seen this. The only times I really have seen Deschanel were in Elf and New Girl, and that stupid phone commercial that I keep trying to forget. I have wanted to see this movie, though.

  4. The last time I was in LA, I visited a lot of the shooting locations of this film including the bench that represented his favorite place. It’s really a nice view. Needless to say I love this film. I’d even go so far as to say it’s one of the greatest romantic comedies of the last 10 years

  5. One of the best romantic comedies of the past decade and one of the films that I will always best remember JGL for, no matter how big his career gets. And oh, trust me, it will get bigger. Nice review Andy.

    • When this came out it was a lot of ” the kid from 3rd Rock From the Sun grew up” and now it’s hard to see him as anyone other than who he is. He definitely has a storied career ahead of him. Thanks!

  6. Pingback: My July Movies Round-Up | Andy Watches Movies

  7. This, along with Eternal Sunshine are two of my favorite relationship movies. It’s really great. I’d love to find a chronological re-cut version sometime out of pure curiosity.

  8. Perfect movie, excellent review mate. I always liked this movie because it is a guys version of a chick flick. I mean it is fantastic that we get to see a guy struggle with the relationship and trying to figure it all out. I can relate to this movie in that i am not JGL and I never dated Zooey (although that would be a dream), but more so in that the relationship and aftermath is all too familiar.

  9. I watched this thinking it was going to be a dull, chick flick, romanntic comedy and I think it doesn’t really fit either of those labels. Its more a drama with a hint of surreal comedy… if that genre even exists?!

  10. love the shout out to the annoying apple commercial. zooey deschanel is the perfect amount of zooey deschanel in this movie (before she became the quirky girl-whose-thing-it-is-to-be-quirky-oh-and-did-i-mention-she’s-quirky, aka the girl in the commercial/new girl).

    • I don’t mind her too much in New Girl most of the but there have been some scenes where I just grit my teeth and hope it’s over soon. In (500) Days she is perfect, though. *insert Bob Hope growl*

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