(500) Days of Summer

2009-12-03 14:39
 
(500) Days of Summer

What it's about:

Joseph Gordon-Levitt stars as Tom, a greeting-card writer who dreams of becoming an architect and finding his true love. Zooey Deschanel plays Summer, a vintage-looking beauty whose ideas about love are entirely modern. As Tom remembers his 500 days with Summer, his mind jumps from moment to moment, largely thinking of the good times in their trouble-filled relationship.

What we thought:

Most people have experienced the delicious torture of an unrequited love affair that began promisingly as a wild ride, and ended like a wounded donkey limping under the load of awkward moments, disagreements, dashed hopes and promises of friendship.

(500) Days of Summer
promises bucket-loads of ironic wit and meta-narrative to offset the soppiness inherent in any story of a sensitive loser-boy who falls for the girl who’s gorgeous, special and gifted.  In 500 days, this takes the form of an amusing voiceover, clever animated sequences, a tweety bird, and friendly stereotyped best boy friends representing the relationship extremes of "married since high school" and "never had a date", with our hero stuck in the middle with Summer.

Zooey "blue eyes" Deschanel (Yes Man, The Happening) stars as Summer Finn opposite Joseph "sleepy-face" Gordon-Levitt (Brick, Stop-Loss) as Tom. She plays it all quirky in her sixties outfits, with her living-for-the-moment attitude to life, love and romance in LA. Tom can’t see the ticking love time bomb, or doesn’t want to see it, even after it blows up in his face. The first 30 minutes of the movie are absolutely hilarious. 

Deschanel is grippingly beautiful as Summer, but the most noticeable thing about this script is the timeless tidbits of wisdom it imparts: You can’t always get what you want. You can’t force love (or anything) to happen. The devil’s in the details. And there is no such thing as fate, or "the one"…

Or is there? Without giving away the ending, I can’t help feeling that right at the last minute, (500) Days loses the plot and capitulates to Hollywood’s worst romantic notions. Something a bit more mysterious would have done nicely, given the tone of the rest of the movie.

Overall? It’s about time American cinema gave romantic classics like Say Anything and High Fidelity a 21st century update.  And for all its small flaws, fans of offbeat character-driven films like Juno (2007), or Garden State (2004) will really enjoy this insatiably retro little film.
 

The tagline: "Boy meets girl. Boy falls in love. Girl doesn't", says it all in this hilarious comedy with an old-fashioned heart.

Sean 2009/12/07 10:55 AM
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Saw this movie over the weekend. Such a breath of fresh air. The characters seems real and the storyline very believable. Maybe the Jennifer (yawn) Anniston crowd will find this movie too deep but if youre looking for something different then this is a must
nc 2009/12/07 12:43 PM
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yeah i also thought the very end was a little, well, lame for lack of a better word. but the rest of the movie really was enjoyable and surprisingly believable.
WaynesWorld83 2009/12/08 2:47 PM
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A brilliant and refreshingly honest look at love and the transient nature of relationships. The characters, especially the hopelessly romantic Tom, are endearing and real to anyone who has ever been in a doomed relationship. Incredibly funny, and not in the predictable rom-com kind of way, and sometimes sad, this is one of the best and most original films Iv seen this year.
Vinni 2009/12/08 4:46 PM
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Excellent movie, a must see for all who think they are in love.
RM 2009/12/11 4:11 PM
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Its smart and funny.Its told from the male perspective which is refreshingly realisticwith the exception of the ending. Its been a while since I've liked both the male and female lead of a movie. On the whole it was highly enjoyable.
Morgan Morris 2009/12/15 10:40 AM
Cinematically, this little gem starts off inventive and pacy. Invention runs a little dry after first 30 minutes, but the story and the lead actors keep you interested. And, as the narrator warns early on, "this is not a love story". Well, actually it is. But do not take the warning lightly. Good to see that Deschaniel is working her way out of the best-friend roles she's been saddled with so far (as, as a recording artist as part of duo She and Him, she also gets to sing a bit), and Gordon-Levitt continues to forge a low-key but very impressive career. (Makes you almost forget he got his big break with the sitcom, 'Third Rock from the Sun'.)
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