500 Days Of Summer


Directed by: Marc Webb
Written by:Scott Neustadter, Michael H. Weber
Starring: Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Zooey Deschanel, Geoffrey Arend, Chloe Moretz, Matthew Gray Gubler, Clark Gregg
Released: September 17, 2009
Grade: A

“This is the story of boy meets girl, but you should know upfront that this is not a love story.”  As soon as I heard that line from the film’s narrator, I knew this film was something a little different, something I was going to like.  I quickly typed the quote into my mobile phone so as not to forget it.

500 Days Of Summer is a creativity told tale about two people who fall in and out of love.  Tom Hansen and Summer Finn are played by Joseph Gordon-Levitt (Mysterious Skin) and Zooey Deschanel (Yes Man), two of the best twenty-something actors working in Hollywood today.  They aren’t afraid to take a chance and I can see why they were attracted to this low-budget independent film.

There are a few reasons why this is above your average romantic comedy/drama.  What I enjoyed most was the way in which director Marc Webb tells the story and illustrates the ups and down of any romance.  It is told over 500 days but not in chronological order.  We start on day 1, finish on day 500, but everything in between is jumbled… for good reason.

This method gives the film a hip, fresh feel.  When I usually watch a romantic flick, I become bored by the fact that it’s so predictable.  I sit in my seat, waiting for the inevitable.  Not so here.  It was nice to watch a movie that leaves you asking questions at the start – like why did they break up? – and then provides the answers in an inventive manner. It’s no surprise that 500 Days Of Summer has developed a cult like following and currently sits in the top 250 films of all time on the Internet Movie Database.

Also a little different is the relationship between Tom and Summer.  It’s usually the girl who falls in love and the guy who has the fear of commitment.  It’s the complete opposite this time around.  From the day he first sees her, Tom is head over heels.  Summer isn’t as enthusiastic and states straight up that she doesn’t believe in love and just wants to be friends.  Either way, something’s got to give.

This is a well made film from director Marc Webb.  He has captured some beautiful shots of Los Angeles and used a great soundtrack.  I don’t want to overlook some of the smaller details either.  Tom works as a greeting card writer and you’ll see what effect his relationship has on his work when you hear some of his card ideas.

I thought the ending was slightly anti-climactic but this is still a terrific movie.  Gordon-Levitt and Deschanel make a great pairing and I can’t wait to see it again.