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I finally went to see (500) Days of Summer, the film I have been anticipating and hyping since February. It’s a long time to wait for a film and within that time the hype grew and grew. Then on a Saturday night I entered the theater finally after 6 months of anticipation with my expectations running so high. The film started with soft classical music slowly gaining momentum, reminiscent of fantasy films, then a narrator with a very deep and authoritative voice starts talking. His first line “This is a story of boy meets girl.” An introduction is given about the two main characters Tom, the boy who falls in love, and Summer, the girl who doesn’t. At that instance, two minutes into the film, I knew this wasn’t your ordinary cliché-ridden romantic comedy, I realized this film is going to unique and unlike any other. In a time where romantic comedies seem to be empty, superficial, and lacking any real heart comes (500) Days of Summer which comes like a refreshing breeze in the sea of dry romance films. This flew blew my mind, it was witty, funny, new, and engaging.
First let me start with the two stars of the film, Zooey Deschanel and Joseph Gordon-Levitt, two actors I have complete love for. Zooey Deschanel a beautiful woman who always plays the strong female lead extremely well. She has a talent for playing the corky, weird, and slightly off-beat female. Then there is Joseph Gordon-Levitt, who is one of my favorite actors right now. Stars of one my other favorite romantic comedies, 10 Things I Hate About You, and star of many other wonderful films such as Brick and The Lookout. Gordon-Levitt has the talent and is an amazing actor of the top most quality and I see him going great places in his art. Zooey Deschanel and Joseph Gordon-Levitt blended very well in this film. In most romantic comedies you need to feel the chemistry between the two leads but in this film it was different. The film is about the full course of a relationship, the beginning, the middle, and the end. And throughout the film you see the development of the chemistry between the two leads but then you also see the slow deterioration of the chemistry between them. The film expertly explores the development of innocent and naïve love. Many people might find the fact that this romantic comedy is not quite the love story as all the others, many people might find it depressing because of that fact. But on the contrary this film shows the ups and downs of relationships and being in love while the other person is not is a hard thing to go through. This is where the film is at its strongest. Even though it shows a relationship that doesn’t quite work out, it’s still a beautiful thing. So many memorable experiences and joyful experiences are created that will pristinely forever live in happiness. We tend to look at relationships and only think about the outcome, when really it isn’t only about the outcome, what is most important is what one goes through that relationship. Even though a relationship doesn’t work out in the end, there are so many things that happened during the relationship that made you happy, those moments should be cherished. Marc Webb, the director the film, did an excellent job at capturing these small moments that live pristinely in happiness and joy for the rest of our lives. The lingering shots of Summer’s face, of Tom and Summer holding hands, of the smile on their faces, all are shots that make this film truly wonderful. In real life the small moments of seeing the one you love smile, laughing, and glancing at you are the images that keep playing over and over in our heads. Marc Webb of course knows this and he expertly incorporate those lingering images into his film.
I also have to praise the cleaver use of an omniscient narrator, who had no relation to any of the characters in the story. The narrator had a deep voice and was very well articulated, reminiscent of nature documentaries or other films like Little Children. To me the film sounded more like an anthropological study on the workings of love, a dive into the inner-workings of human nature. The narrator added an authoritative and serious tone to this romantic comedy. It made the film feel important to me, hearing the narrator made me feel like I had to listen to this film, take the opportunity to learn something new from this two-hour exposition of falling in love.
As for the soundtrack, it was completely amazing! An enchanting and such an engaging soundtrack filled with many memorable songs ranging from indie artist such as Regina Spektor, Feist, She & Him, Doves, Wolfmother, and the Temper Trap, and it also had a couple of classics from the 80’s such as The Smiths, Hall & Oates and Simon & Garfunkel. A big influence of this film I think comes from songs of The Smiths, anyone who holds The Smiths close to their hearts knows that their lyrics are about the pursuit and search for love. Tom is desperate for love and as they say in The Smiths song, There Is A Light The Never Goes Out, “And if a double-decker bus crashes into us, To die by your side is such a heavenly way to die” Tom is desperate to find love and he feels that he would only feel happy once he does, no matter how dire the circumstances. No wonder Tom falls head over heels with Summer, once he finds out she likes the Smiths. Also with the other songs such as Sweet Disposition by the Temper Traps and Us by Regina Spektor are perfect love songs, expressing the small moments of love we all experience in our lives.
(500) Days of Summer follows a non-liner story sequence, a definitely interesting choice for this type of film. But I think the fact that it was structured this way allows the audience to feel more empathetic for Tom. As the audience we are put into Tom’s shoes. We experience his overwhelming sense of love then his despair of that love not being reciprocated back to him. Tom represents the every-day person. Every person goes through an up and down through their relationships. We sometimes love someone who doesn’t love us back. Tom’s experience is a growing experience, a story of growth and learning about love. The way he learns might seem harsh, but in reality it’s a beautiful thing, because he learns about love and he learns that love is always out there. There is someone out there for everyone. The fact that Summer ended up finding someone else but in the most seemingly random circumstances in the same exact way Tom has always expressed he wanted to find true love, shows that Tom’s view of love is correct even though his relationship with Summer didn’t work, as the narrator stated “This is not a love story. It’s a story of love.” Tom learned about love and was able to later find love. At the end when Tom seemingly coincidently met with someone else that seem to have created a love spark, shows that his view of love was always correct he just had to find the right one. The film shows another very important thing, it’s always good to give someone a chance. True love might be found in the most unexpected of places or even in the most obvious of places. We simply don’t know where true love lies, we have to go out there and find it. We have to love someone in order to find someone to love us. Tom’s relationship with Summer wasn’t a lost cause. It was a wonderful chance to learn something new and spend some precious time with an amazing person. Sure it didn’t work out, but Tom loved and could always love again. There is no limit to how much we can love, so we all have to take advantage of those moments of sweet disposition we experience when we fall in love. (500) Days of Summer was a wonderful film that I have fell in love in with. There are rare times in movies where I have a glowing smile from beginning to end. The actors were amazing, the cinematography was simply memorable, the story was enchanting, and the ending was awe-inspiring. I love (500) Days of Summer.
This post was submitted by Ariel Viera.
Okay so this movie kinda the Anti-romantic comedy,but it is super funny, sweet, full of heart,real, and it will make you cry. The best movie I’ve seen this year and my number four spot in my top 10 flims.Joseph Gordon-Levitt is incredible and super cute! Zooey Deschanel is fantastic too!
Marc Webb is extrmeley talented! He takes risks that other directors are afaird to. It is totally worth the money. Don’t see a bland unrealistic comedy or drama, go see this!From start to finish it delivers! It has the the most creative and best ending line! 5 out of 5 stars! See it now!!!!!
This post was submitted by Katie.
The other night I got the chance to see (500) Days of Summer, starring Jospeh Gordon-Levitt and Zooey Deschanel, with Lily. I didn’t really know anything about the movie before I watched it–I just wanted to see it because of how amazing Levitt’s acting was in Brick. He didn’t disappoint me in this outing.
(5oo) Days of Summer can be summed up as Juno meets Annie Hall. The film’s plot concerns an employee for a greeting card company (Tom) who can’t escape his previous relationship with a girl named Summer, played by the talented Zooey Deschanel. Bits and pieces of their relationship are presented to the film viewer–out of sequence–as Tom tries to discover why everything fell apart, what he can do to get Summer back, and if love actually exists. I know. It sounds bland, but this one has several elements that push it far beyond the run-of-mill.
First, the acting is simply incredible. As I said before, Levitt wowed me with his spot-on Sam Spade impersonation in Rian Johnson’s homage to noir films: Brick. In (500) Days however, Levitt sheds his hard boiled detective act and trades it in for the sensitivity and bitterness of Holden Caufield. The sensitive male role is a performance that’s often exaggerated to the point where the audience often finds themselves annoyed–and even hating–the character. Levitt’s Tom never losses his sympathetic appeal even when his obsession verges on obnoxious behavior in the latter part of the film.
Zooey Deschannel is incredible as a thinly veiled Annie Hall clone–Summer. She’s the product of a broken home, independent, blunt with her sexuality and incredibly beautiful. This could have been such a simple role to botch. Nothing that Summer says is particularly witty or catchy, but Deschannel (just as Diane Keaton with Annie Hall) manages to make her such an intriguing character through her physical presence . Summer is not only a character that must be watched, but one that must also be read. She must be read through her facial expressions, how she moves her body, and–especially–how she looks at Tom when she’s speaking to him or he is speaking to her.
The actors aren’t the only ones who should be praised. Marc Webb does quite an impressive job with his directorial debut–probably the best since Zach Braff’s Garden State. This story could have easily fallen to pieces in the hand of even a seasoned director but Webb rises to the challenge with the talent of virtuoso. The cinematography is never over-the-top or artsty just for the sake of being artsy. Every shot, every angle, and every neat little trick that Webb employs has its purpose. Hopefully, this film marks the beginning of a young and talented auteur’s superb career.
I feel that it would be wrong not to mention the soundtrack. After all, Tom’s attraction to Summer blossoms when she displays her knowledge of the Smith’s catalog. The experience simply would not be nearly as enthralling without the music. Every song serves its accompanying scene splendidly and helps the viewer connect with the two leads. I would say that it’s even better than the Juno and Garden State soundtracks simply because those soundtrack are more like stellar mix CDs than anything else–there is no theme or running emotion connecting the songs together. (500) Days is a different story. You can almost decipher the story just from listening to the soundtrack. The beginning tracks that deal with the yearning for a crush and the utter joy of ending up with that crush, the middle section of the CD that encompasses the fading of the joy and the eventual disintegration of the relationship, and the final portion of the soundtrack that deals with recovery from and acceptance of the lost relationship. Ultimately, it’s an emotion provoking selection of music that’s as vital to the movie as the acting and the directing.
I would argue that (500) Days of Summer is destined to become a modern classic film, ranking along side Milk, There Will Be Blood, Garden State, Children of Men, American Psycho, and Little Miss Sunshine. Why? It’s not because it’s a particularly quotable film or that it’s an innovative movie with some neat camera tricks. Instead, I think it will because it has a soul. It’s a movie that takes a snapshot of love in the modern world and bravely presents it without removing any of the blemishes.
Written for my blog
This post was submitted by Javy Gwaltney.
From the moment “(500) Days of Summer” began I knew I was going to love it. Marc Webb’s first feature length film dazzled audiences at Sundance and is sure to be this year’s “Little Miss Sunshine” or “Juno.”
The story is of a greeting card writer Tom, Joseph Gordon-Levitt (“3rd Rock From the Sun”) a firm believer in the idea of soul mates, true love, and fate, who falls in love with Summer, Zooey Deschanel (“Elf”). However, Summer doesn’t exactly share his romantic views. From the very beginning the movie tells you that “this is not a love story,” and it’s true. It’s a story about love, life, and the reality of what you encounter during both.
The movie is a mix of pre-breakup and post-breakup scenes that show Tom trying to get over Summer but only being able to remember the good times they shared. This blend of material keeps the audience interested, and through Gordon-Levitt and Deschanel’s captivating chemistry, you never want to look away.
While the chemistry among the actors was important, Webb’s directing brought a refreshing new look to romantic comedies, if you would even call it a romantic comedy. An interesting concept Webb used was a split screen that showed Tom’s expectation versus the reality of his date. No words were needed for this portion — the visual alone said much more than any words ever could have achieved.
One of the best parts of the movie was a Bollywood-like dance scene that shows Tom meeting multiple people on his way to work including an animated blue bird. The pre-breakup dance scene ends with him smiling while the elevator closes and when the elevator opens we are back with post-breakup Tom, who looks like he just got out of a bar fight. This again shows Webb’s ability to create new and interesting concepts for this genre of film.
While the acting and directing were both superb, the wit and humor from the writers were a driving force behind the movies comedic charm. It laid the foundation for the actors and director to build on. Joke after joke, kept the audience laughing.
With this triple threat of acting, directing, and writing, this film is sure to be a summer hit. I highly recommend this movie to all for there is a little something for everyone to relate to. My advice, stimulate the economy this July by taking a chance on “(500) Days of Summer.” You won’t be disappointed.
I wrote this for my school newspaper!
This post was submitted by Cheyenne.
this movie had a lot to offer. I loved every single song they played and have already gotten most of them. And the cinematography is some of the most beautiful and unique that i’ve seen in a long time, especailly the actual and expectations part. And i like the certain parts of their relationship they were really cute. But as far the story went i felt it was a little one sided, showing that the boy still hasn’t gotten over her, especially with that little disclaimer at the beginning calling the girl a bitch. In the movie she’s very straight forward with him and he just goes on believing that she loves him.even when he goes on a blind date and the girl reminds him that summer didn’t cheat, she didn’t take advantage of him and she did exactly what she told him she was gonna do. But i feel that even in their relationship the movie didn’t show them even getting to know each other much. Like how she opens up about her parents relationship and then he realizes she opens up but he doesn’t pursue that or try to get to know her deeper. And in the end he couldn’t take his own advice, he felt it but she didn’t and she did the right thing by ending it. Because he said love you just know and you feel it, and she didn’t, so in the end he’s just mad because he “fell in love” and she didn’t love him back. But don’t get me wrong i really liked this movie and was not disappointed by going to see it, even though the story has some holes i felt it was still a very realistic interpretation of a a true “love” story where everything doesn’t work, because most of the time, as much as we hate it, that’s what happens.
This post was submitted by casper.
I LOVED this movie!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!Everyone NEEDS to see it before the summer is over!!!!!!!!!!!! TRUST ME!!!
This post was submitted by Ayla.