Review: (500) Days of Summer

We are introduced to a 20-something boy, Tom (Joseph Gordon-Levitt), a hopeless romantic who works for a greeting card company. Growing up, he somehow misunderstood the ending of The Graduate which led to him be unlucky in love. Then, one day, he meets every hipster-boy’s dream girl, Summer (Zooey Deschenel).

Tom and Summer – though both have similar tastes in music – are two different people with two different perspectives on love and life.

“Boy meets girl. Boy falls in love. Girl doesn’t.”

In Marc Webb’s indie romantic-comedy (500) Days of Summer, viewers know from the tagline that the relationship between Tom and Summer is a failure. The film chronicles back and forth, successfully, between the 500 days of their relationship, trying to figure out what made their relationship sour.

If this storyline is something you’ve heard many times before; it’s not. At first, I was skeptical of critics saying that this movie was not going to be the typical rom-com as I was fooled one too many times by Hollywood before. However, unlike too many before, this film breaks away from the typical Hollywood formulaic rom-com pattern. Webb actually makes an effort not to be that typical film. Based on a male-centric POV, viewers are taken on a rollercoaster ride of every high and low during Tom’s 500-day journey conveying to us more than what happens when boy-meets-girl.

Normally, I’m not attracted by the whole indie film scene as previous ones require you to have a hipster-like-intellectual-humour prerequisite. But these days, indie films are appealing more towards the general public by being not overly convoluted (Garden State; Napoleon Dynamite; Nick & Norah’s Infinite Playlist). The storyline in (500) Days of Summer works effectively and quite realistically at it too.

Although, by this review, this film may seem discouraging so far with the love/relationship squabble, don’t get me wrong. (500) Days of Summer was fun! With a near flawless script, viewers are enraptured by the characters’ sarcastic and humorous dialogue as the chemistry between Deschenel and Gordon-Levitt appear genuine. The supporting cast rounds out this flick perfectly for a few more laughs in the bag. Also, our packed theater added to the lively atmosphere as many scenes in this film gets your funny organs exercised. **spoiler** Not to ruin anything for anyone, but my favourite “funny” scene was Gordon-Levitt’s remarkable song-and-dance sequence in the middle of L.A. streets. Yes, I said song-and-dance sequence. That scene alone, imo, is worth paying admission price.

The film also has a great use of the soundtrack mixing each song at the right moment of the storyline. Featured artists in the film include Regina Spektor, The Smiths, Feist, Doves, and more. Who doesn’t love a hopeless romantic blaring good ol’ indie tunes and cheesy `80s beats through their chunky stereo headphones? I know I do.

Intelligent, funny, sexy, (500) Days of Summer does a great job pinpointing follies in life and love. Everything in life is a coincidence. Maybe one day that coincidence lands you love… maybe not. “This is not a love story. This is a story about love.”

And if this review still hasn’t convinced you to go out and watch it, watch the trailer for (500) Days of Summer here:

– “I’m officially in love with summer… (500) Days of Summer.” (Michelle+1)

canucklehead07’s Rating: 5/5stars (I don’t usually claim a movie “must-see”, but this is a must-see flick, and I would pay to watch this movie again!)


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