Saturday, November 7, 2009

(500) Days of Summer (2009)

(500) DAYS OF SUMMER
DIRECTED BY: MARC WEBB
WRITTEN BY: SCOTT NEUSTADTER & MICHAEL H. WEBER
OVERALL SCORE: 7.50/10


Greetings card writer Tom Hansen (Joseph Gordon-Levitt) falls for his boss' new assistant, the free spirited Summer (Zooey Deschanel).

Told in a non-linear format (as if you haven't seen it yet) (500) Days of Summer tells the tale of a variety of aspects of the relationship of Tom and Summer. While we see their beginning and how that comes together we also see the aftermath of their relationship, primarily how it affects Tom, and the impact each has on the others life. From the opening shot 500 Days of Summer tells the viewer this isn't your typical romantic comedy, and by all accounts their right. Wonderfully sweet, director Marc Webb and writers Neustadter & Weber wonderfully play off of our understanding of how romantic comedies work, often teasing the audience with cliche moments which turn out to be anything but.

Of course no film could really be hurt by having the immense charm of Zooey Deschanel and Joseph Gordon-Levitt in front of the camera playing the sort of characters they play best. Surrounded by a solid supporting cast of situational actors, Deschanel and Levitt are really allowed to open up the emotional bag. It's here that the movie really finds its footing as each characters has so much depth to build off of, the movie is really able to take the time to explore it. We see how Tom has trouble dealing with relationships, and how Summer struggles with putting herself into the realm of a relationship. We see how this affects them, how the aftermath of their relationship forces them to address certain issues in their own life. As well we see how their decisions force them into becoming almost mirror images of each other throughout these 500 Days.

It's a nice concept, and the use of non-linear storytelling is quite great for showing the varying emotions and keeping the audience guessing. If I had one complaint worth mentioning it's that I feel like we don't get to spend enough time with Tom and Summer as a couple. As the movie jumps around to different points in the relationship I feel as if that dynamic chemistry developed between Levitt and Deschanel is forced apart, only to be brought back at certain points when necessary for the story. Yet at the same time the moments they do share on screen together, even the more difficult ones, are simply outstanding, and elevate the film with every passing second. It's no stretch to say the Joseph Godon-Levitt pulls off a great performance here, the type of role I'd like to see him in more often (please Joseph no more GI Joe or Killshot). Overall though 500 Days of Summer works because it has all the right pieces and puts them all together in the correct manner. A fun, exciting, and great romance film that'll touch your heart and keep you guessing throughout.

One of the most enjoyable and overly sweet films of the year, all the while maintaining a realistic look at romances with a bit of an outer worldly flair.

2 better thoughts:

Andrew: Encore Entertainment said...

Agree with you on not seeing them together enough. Daschnel's character was underused.

filmgeek said...

I love it. It's my favourite film of the year so far (not got round to seeing the biggies like Fish Tank, Bright Star, An Education, The Hurt Locker, etc yet) and one of my favourite soundtracks of all time

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