(500) Days of Summer

500 Days of SummerI can’t say that (500) Days of Summer is an exceptionally original film.  The plot, the formula of the whole thing is almost what you’d call derivative.  For this reason, it’s difficult to understand why exactly I liked this film so much.

It’s refreshing to see what is advertised as a romantic comedy (it’s not, I promise) from the male perspective.  While not all rom-coms are from the woman’s point of view, it seems that most of them exhibit a certain idealism that is marketable to women, but not so much to the men they rope into seeing them.  I’m not saying (500) Days won’t appeal to both men and women alike, but this seemed to be slightly more authentic when dealing with the male side of the relationship.

Part of the films endless charms come from the two leads, Mr. Joseph Gordon-Leavitt, and the ridiculously captivating Zooey Deschanel.  They play two star crossed lovers that are so perfect for each other, they aren’t.  Watching Leavitt’s character Tom timidly woo Deschanel’s character Summer is endlessly entertaining.  It helps that they are backed by a fresh, and witty script penned by Michael H. Weber and Scott Neustadter (the two also paired together to bring us the abysmal The Pink Panther 2).  Sure, they take us to places overly familiar in romantic comedies: karaoke bars, break-ups, reconciliations, comedic best friend side kicks, but who cares when the viewer is so enraptured with the appealing characters, and realistic, un-romanticized chains of events.  I daresay that these two have brought us some of the most authentic laughs of the summer.

(500) Days marks the feature length film debut for Marc Webb, who made a name for himself directing 3 Doors Down and Maroon 5 videos.  If this is any indication of the career he is to have, it’s going to be a very bright one.  Some of his more delightful tricks include split screen scenes, pairing Tom’s expectations, and what happens in reality (watch part of it here).  He also shows some real heuvos by having a Bollywood-like dancing scene that involves a marching band, an animated bird, and fountains exploding on cue right in the middle of his film (part of it here).  It had the capability to come across as corny and embarrassing, but Webb made it fit perfectly with the tone and feel of his characters and the mood of the film.  Don’t let anyone spoil this movie for you.  Go and watch it for yourself, you won’t be disappointed.

★★★½

Comments
4 Responses to “(500) Days of Summer”
  1. Vanessa says:

    Oh I really really want to watch this film! The trailer looks so great and I absolutely love Zooey Deschanel. I think “ridiculously captivating” is the best way I have ever heard her being described as. I find her “screen-charisma” unbelievable…
    .-= Vanessa´s last blog ..Double Feature: Public Enemies and Brüno =-.

  2. Mad Hatter says:

    Great review – and I totally agree with you that this feels like a fresher film since it’s told from the guy’s perspective. Hard to say that without sounding sexist, but there it is.

    Oh, and the best part of that dance sequence? The shot it cuts to just as it ends. That’s editing brilliance.
    .-= Mad Hatter´s last blog ..Review: (500) DAYS OF SUMMER * * * * =-.

  3. Jasson says:

    The film that 500 Days of Summer is comparable to is Woody Allen’s Annie Hall, another film showing the development and fall of an interesting relationship, from the point of view of a male protagonist. It too uses surrealistic touches. However, in Annie Hall those moments are used to portray Alvy Singer’s desires. He’s either romancing the queen in Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs, discovering what his former classmates have become, or pulling out Marshall McLuhan from behind a poster to prove a point to a total stranger. These moments compliment Alvy’s self-centered persona. The use of surrealism in 500 Days of Summer is to portray heightened visuals of Tom’s inner emotions. When he is feeling elated and confident, it appears as if everyone on the street is smiling at him right before they transform into Broadway showmen and break out into a choreographed dance number. When Tom is feeling anxiety over an upcoming interaction with Summer, a split screen parallels Tom’s expectations for his evening with the actual encounter. This technique simultaneously reflects his hopes and dreams while showing the façade he must present amidst tragic disappointment.

    Read my full review at http://cfilmc.com/500-days-of-summer/

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  1. [...] There was so much that I liked about it….the performances by the two lead actors, the unique and quirky way the director told the story, the very funny script…I could go on, but actually Blake said it way better than I ever could (check out his review). [...]



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