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(500) Days of Summer (2009) ****

October 17, 2009


(500) Days of Summer (2009) poster

written by: Scott Neustadter & Michael H. Weber

produced by: Mason Novick, Jessica Tuchinsky, Mark Waters & Steven J. Wolf

directed by: Mark Webb

  Rated PG-13 (for sexual material and language)

95 min.

  U.S. release: July, 16, 2009

DVD release: December 22, 2009



There’s romance and comedy here but as charming as it is, this is thankfully not the typical rom-com that viewers are so often subjected to. The narrator tells us “this is not a love story” and while that’s true, it does take a real look at the subject from the perspective of a love-struck guy. There’s an intoxicating sweetness that exists here; not just between the two leads but in the design, cinematography and soundtrack. Still, if it were not for feature debut director Marc Webb’s non-chronological approach, this would just be another traditional three-act structure.

 We see the on and off-again relationship between Tom (Joseph Gordon-Levitt) and Summer (Zooey Deschanel) randomly shuffled within 500 days. They meet at a greeting card company where he’s a writer and she’s as an executive assistant. He’s smitten at first sight and then sold once he finds out she loves The Smiths as much as him. But what about her? We’re not quite sure. As they slowly get to know each other, we see that they may not be on the same page. It’s not a foreign concept, something we’ve all been through but rarely seen conveyed onscreen as realistically as it is here. While there are some fun sequences of interaction with friends and co-workers; what struck me was how Webb took time to show the different stages of two people facing themselves as they come closer together….or apart.




Watching Deschanel and Gordon-Levitt together is to watch two consistently talented actors. I have yet to see an annoying or poor performance from either of them. Here, they are a near-perfect fit which is fitting for their characters. On their own they bring every needed nuance and emotion within their well-written scenes. I can’t recall a film so truthfully representing those moments where you start to feel someone slipping away. At times, there were tonal differences in the film style but it never pulled me out of the story in any way. The film is as much in love with the idea of creating a love story as is Gordon Levitt’s Tom in love with the idea of being in love.

When it comes to love, sometimes unnoticed coincidence is moreso a factor than any fantasized idea of destiny. With it’s delightful charm and inventive style, it’s a refreshing alternative to all the explosions, needless sequels and remakes that loiter the multiplex.


(500) Days of Summer (2009)


(500) Days of Summer (2009) Japanese


(500) Days of Summer (2009) UK



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