Sunday, August 02, 2009

500 Days Makes For A Great Summer

(500) Days of Summer

In a summer filled with big budget explosions, talking robots, generic romantic comedies, and talking animals you may be craving a break from the norm. Maybe you are longing for something that reminds you why you enjoy going to the cinema in the first place. Well if it refreshment is what you crave this summer, then Marc Webb’s film, (500) Days of Summer, might just be for you.

(500) Days of Summer is a boy meets girl tale about love but is not a love story. One day at work, greeting card writer Tom Henson (Joseph Gordon-Levitt) comes across Summer Finn (Zooey Deschanel). Instantly Tom knows that it was destiny that brought them together. Summer on the other is not convinced that fate, or love for that matter, even exists. As their relationship begins to blossom, it slowly becomes apparent to Tom that this love story may not quite have the happy ending he hoped for.

I thought that (500) Days of Summer worked on many different levels. I loved how director Marc Webb incorporated various film styles, and techniques, throughout the film. Whether it was the black and white documentary moments or the artistic French film within a film scene; they never felt distracting or gimmicky. The overall hybrid style of the film fit the tone of their relationship perfectly. For example, the random dance sequence was hilarious because most of us guys have been in Tom’s shoes at one point or another. You are on cloud nine, after getting the girl you want, and you feel like Han Solo...or whichever icon/celebrity personifies cool for you. The scene is as not as much about love as it was about sex. If Summer had been a part of the sequence then it would have taken on a different meaning completely. It would still be effective, but it would have come much later into the relationship and focused on the love aspect more.

While comparisons can be made to other recent romantic comedies, such as The Break Up, this film definitely has its own unique voice. Frankly I did not see the big appeal with The Break Up, the first half was amusing but the rest of the movie was awful. Sure, at times, it showed how men and women view the same things differently, but Vince Vaughn's character was a jerk for most of it anyways. I found this film to be a far more realistic portrayal of how men view relationships. It actually reminded me more of the film Swingers than anything else. While Swingers was all about struggling to get a girl; (500) Days of Summer focused more on what the guy goes through when he has the girl but things are not working out as envisioned.

The interesting thing about the film is that you see more of the earlier stages of the relationship than the latter. The relationship is a bit of a roller coaster from the start yet it never gets as bad as you would expect. Sure they make a passing remark to Sid and Nancy relationship but that is nothing more than a one off joke. Tom and Summer’s relationship ultimately boils down to one side being unable to figure out why the other does not feel the same way about them. Which is often what happens in most relationships.

The performances by Joseph Gordon-Levitt and Zooey Deschanel are note perfect in their respective roles. You can easily identify with them especially since chances are you know a Tom or Summer type in your own life. Heck, if you are a guy you were probably Tom at one point or another. It is too often that you get a film that accurately shows relationships from the guy’s perspective; especially on as entertaining as this. If you have not had a chance too see this summer gem yet, make sure you see (500) Days of Summer before it leaves theatres as it is one of the better films so far to be release this year.

For more Big Thoughts From A Small Mind's 2009 Reviews


  1. The editing was indeed pretty good in the movie. I also agree with your comments about the leading actors. Both played their parts tremendously. I wasn't blown away by the film though. There at least a few scenes where the film got a bit too precious, a bit too 'let's see how cool and cute we can be'. The Ikea scene, the song and dance, etc. Still, it's worth seeing. It's a little bit different from the ordinary romantic comedies with some hilarious lines and strong acting. The more emotional moments tend to work as well.

  2. I can see your point about the film be too precious at times. Personally, I could have done without the Ikea scene. Still I was willing to let some of the cutesy stuff slide as the perfomances really won me over.

  3. glad you posted about this, I'm definitly interested in catching this one!

  4. God I know I've got to see this...but it keeps popping up everywhere. It's almost becoming omnipresent...which is good...but I feel like I've built it up really high. I am expecting a lot.

  5. I liked this movie a lot. It's probably the very first movie I would recommend to guys who say they hate romantic movies. Even on IMDB, which is dominated by teen boys who hate all that icky kissing and stuff 77,000 males have given the film the same 8.0 rating that 23,000 females have.

    I said this in my review: "What the movie is is a refreshing, sometimes humorous, sometimes touching, more realistic, and possibly even original, look at the relationship of a man and a woman."

    You can find the whole review here, if you want to read it:


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