(500) Days of Summer (2009) – Film Review

(500) Days of Summer Movie Poster(500) Days of Summer

Starring Zooey Deschanel, Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Geoffrey Arend, Chloë Grace Moretz

Directed by Marc Webb, written by Scott Neustadter and Michael H. Weber

IMDB Rating: 7.8

A romance that pairs together two of America’s quiet sweethearts was always going to be popular. However, I don’t think anyone could have thought this would turn out as good as it is.

(500) Days of Summer looks back at Tom (Gordon-Levitt), and his year-and-a-bit in love with the beautiful Summer Finn (Deschanel), a woman who herself doesn’t believe in love.

The story in this film is impeccably done, and feels very true while still holding onto an almost fantastical essence. The whole idea of cycling through the days almost at random, going back and forth during their time together and apart, is really clever and something that almost sets this film apart from others like it. The important thing with going through the days randomly is to make sure that the story isn’t ruined by knowing the outcome, and I think that’s achieved by this film because, like it says at the beginning, this isn’t a film about ‘boy meets girl’, this is just one small part of his life that everyone at some point goes through, and I think that it’s that approach that allows the ending to be known without ruining the emotion of the movie.

I think Joseph Gordon-Levitt does a very good job as Tom, a young man struggling to deal with a complex love. The role seems made for him, and I cannot think of anyone who would have had the same level of determination with vulnerability as he brought to the movie. Again, while maybe not the most versatile of actresses, Deschanel also seems made for the role of Summer. She brings her trademark innocence, almost naivety, to a role that was probably pitched to her using those two key words! Thinking back, I’m not 100% sure of their chemistry, but as individuals they both personify the feel of this movie perfectly.

What really makes this film is the direction by Marc Webb. What he does, not just with the camera but the style in general gives this film the sweet reality that sets it apart from most other romance films. Webb, probably with the help of writers Neustadter and Weber, tries some quite original ideas that give this film something visually that I don’t think has ever been matched by another romance movie. Big things, such as Polaroid picture shots, and little things such as the trailing landscape shot of Tom running away all add together to make this the best romance visually I’ve ever seen!

As you could have probably guessed by my rambling at the beginning of this review, I’m a huge fan of this movie. If I had to think of an argument for not liking this movie, I guess you could point to the characters and the plot and argue that this is much like a teen-romance film, when it’s really trying to be more adult than that. However, I think this has a unique blend of reality and ‘movie love’ that is hard to find, and the general beauty of the film – much thanks to Webb – sets this apart from other romantic movies.

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