Monday, August 10, 2009

Movie Review: (500) Days of Summer

500 days. Doesn't sound like a very long period of time, but when given the right circumstances those days slowly creep by. A lot can happen in just a mere 500 days, one can find love, lose it, and then discover their true happiness and have their beliefs completely reaffirmed. That is the film (500) Days of Summer in a nutshell.

(500) Days of Summer is the story of Tom, a greeting card writer, and his romantic relationship with Summer, his boss's assistant. The story follows the ups-and-downs of their relationship over the course of 500 days. Tom, a hopeless romantic, hopes to find true love around every turn, while Summer doesn't want a serious relationship.

The film unfolds in a nonlinear fashion, beginning at the end, then skipping to the middle, and then back to the beginning again. At first it catches one by surprise, throwing all anyone has ever known about story structure out the door, but after the midpoint of the film these transitions simply feel natural in order to tell the story the way it was meant to be told. Director Marc Webb infuses the film with a very pleasing visual style, giving the film this dream-like feel. As well the acting from the two leads, Joseph Gordon Levitt and Zooey Deschanel is fantastic, in particular Gordon Levitt. Gordon Levitt's performance as Tom is deeply affecting. He is funny while also being the everyman. Gordon Levitt at times reminds one of a young Tom Hanks or Jimmy Stewart, and I feel with the right role he can become a mega star.

(500) Days of Summer is a film that feels as if it is a modern day fairy tale, while also being highly realistic at the same time. The dream-like look of the film and the hilarity that ensues in many situations is not always channeling realism (not to mention the omniscient narrator who comes in from time-to-time), but what makes this film feel real is the emotions of the characters and their relationships. I think every guy can relate to Tom and his pursuit of true love. Every guy has known a girl like Summer, a girl that they wanted but could never truly have. It is because of this I believe that this is not your typical romantic comedy. It's actually a romantic comedy told for men rather than women, and it's from this viewpoint that I managed to identify with Tom so much. Of course what this film offers most importantly is hope, letting us realize that there truly are other fish in the sea.

(500) Days of Summer is a highly entertaining film. It is funny, charming, and hopeful all in one. While this film will ultimately not appeal to all, it is definitely worth a look.

I give (500) Days of a Summer a 10 out of 10!

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