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I haven't seen a romance this touching since I was the same type of
single sad sack as depicted by the hero of (500) Days of Summer.
Tom (Joseph Gordon-Levitt) has his radar up for "the girl of his dreams" when he meets Summer (Zooey Deschanel). Too bad for Tom Summer is stuck on friends-with-benefits mode. Let the tension begin.
Director Marc Webb captures the feeling of innocent, naïve love expertly. Anyone who has taken the lyrics of the Smiths too closely to heart, would be moved by the idea of the person they are crushing on sing to them: "To die by your side/is such a heavenly way to die." No wonder Tom soon falls head over heels for this girl.
As events unfold out of sequence, you know all along Tom has fallen for a time bomb of a woman, and he can't even see the countdown. When that bomb finally blows up in his face, it unfolds with powerful simplicity-- no exposition or dialog, just two juxtaposed events that capture the heartache of reality hitting a person who sees a person through the filter of deep-seated emotions that were planted at too young an age.
So many romantic films nowadays concern themselves with cute ideas; take 'He's Just Not That Into You' or 'Serendipity' for example. Even movies like 'Knocked Up' where a pot-smoking, video-gaming, narcissistic slob tries to turn his life around to try to be a father feels more contrived than real. These movies forget about human feelings.
Who cares about stock or cartoonish characters in love. The couple in (500) Days of Summer have true chemistry. There are some beautiful, subtle moments of tenderness as well as some heart- rending moments of disconnectedness between the two that never comes across as heavy-handed. The movie constantly reminds you that these are two different people with different ideas of a relationship, yet they stubbornly continue dating, and they remain lovable all the same.
An omniscient narrator sets the film up early on by noting "this is not a love story." And, in a way, it isn't. It's a story about feelings. It just so happens (500) Days of Summer captures the sensation of falling in love better than most movies.
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Let's face it. We've all done our share of "dumping". Whether it's the,
"Lets just be friends," or the all too familiar, "It's not you, it's
me," tactic, as long as you're not on the receiving end it becomes a
question of, "How quickly can I get this over with, so I can move on
with my life?" Equally, all of us (yes even Brad Pitt) have experienced
what it feels like to "be" dumped and the complex emotions that
unexpectedly follow. If you're one of the fortunate souls that have
managed to escape the throws of relationship hell, you'll probably fare
better with renting the newest addition to the Rambo series. For the
rest of you who've at one time or another gotten your hearts ripped out
of your chests and stomped into a million pieces only to turn you into
unshaven, alcoholic hermits on the brink of starvation
this movie is
dedicated to you.
Tom (Joseph-Gordon-Levitt) is a wanna-be architect turned professional greeting card writer whose life is thrown for a loop when he suddenly falls for the "new girl" Summer (Zooey Deschanel, Almost Famous). As one who appeared most certainly unattainable at first glance, Tom manages to charm her into what she coins as a, "casual relationship." Eventually, Tom ends up questioning their status with one another, which manages to put strain on the relationship, causing her to request the dreaded "time apart." (500) Days of Summer chronicles the bitter sweet beginnings, the untimely endings and all of that confusing stuff that takes place during the in betweens of a relationship that just isn't meant to be.
(500) Days of Summer is presented in an effective non-linear style that sets it apart from its romantic comedy predecessors, rotating back and forth between dates signified by a simple title card flashing in between scenes (2), (50), (150) and so on to represent the various days in the course of Toms roller coaster of a relationship. This seesaw method of bouncing to and fro successfully manages to force the viewer in a physically engaging shared experience of Tom's feelings, which is something every director aspires to elicit from their intended audience.
The real kudos go to Scott Neustadter and Michael Weber, whose script is practically flawless. You can't help but feel that their authenticity and attention to detail while constructing each scene through appropriately sarcastic and funny dialogue exchanges among all of the main characters involved, particularly those between Deschanel and Levitt which come across as heartbreakingly real and genuine. Their creative way of crafting the simple concept of a break up through unconventional story structuring is a refreshing concept that begs to be seen more in a world where most conventional films tend to play it safe.
Leads Deschanel and Levitt manage to bring something quite special to the screen in their portrayals of Tom and Summer (both "last nameless"). Their chemistry is really what makes the film a joy to watch. Mostly thanks to Neustadter and Weber's superb dialog, both actors seem so comfortable in their roles that their interactions with one another transcend the screen and naturally unfold before our eyes as if we were voyeurs to their unraveling, wanting so much to change the fate of their outcome, but helpless to do so. Deschanel is sexy, carefree and bound to be adored by males everywhere as Summer. Levitt captures the struggle of the neurotic "boy in love" exceptionally through all of his various stages of emotional imbalance.
(500) Days of Summer is a poem to every down and out guy who thinks he's the only one whose ever been dragged through the mill by their own Summer. What undoubtedly ends up making this picture so brilliant is how relatable it is to its victims and victimizers a like. When all is said and done, there is most definitely a lesson to be learned by Tom's experiences. Everyone you meet along the way, whether just passing through or sticking around for awhile, has a purpose. In the end nothing lasts forever, relationships begin, relationships end. Try to be thankful for all the people that broke your heart, they more than likely helped you find yourself in the process especially you, Summer bitch.
They said this movie wasn't going to be a love story, but that's simply
not true cause I feel all warm and fuzzy after watching this flick. I
think it's Love. How could you not love this movie, this a story about
a guy named Tom who wants to be an architect but ends up working a
meaningless job at a greeting card company creating romantical
propaganda on paper. Luckily for him the most perfect girl in the
world, Summer, just started working at his office and wouldn't you know
it, she loves The Smiths, too. It's a match made in Ikea Heaven, but
wait there is a twist here! This goddess of all things shabby chic
doesn't believe in love, furthermore she doesn't want to be held down
by a relationship. Oh No! Poor Tom. Those ocean blue eyes, that voice,
that smile, those eyes.... oh those eyes, how could Tom not fall deeply
in love with Summer. So begins the season of love, the 500 Days of
Summer. In 500 amazing days Tom will learn about relationships,
reconciliations (a good Ex never dies), Love, Lose and most importantly
about moving forward.
Now talk about great performances, this ones got two. You want Zooey, you got Zooey. She's all over this one, easily one of her top performances to date. She is simply truth in this movie, she'll make you love her and then she'll slowly break your heart but you'll just want to love her more until all you see are those glowing blue eyes in your loneliest nightmares. Joseph Gordon Levitt is so prime here, the chemistry between he and Zooey clicks perfectly and not only that but since every woman,man and child is in love with the knee bending powers of Ms. Deschanel it must be said that JGL gives such a strong performance that he clearly owns this movie all the way till the very end. You might come on down to the cinema looking for Zooey but you'll be rushing home to hit up the IMDb to see what the 3rd' Rock kids been up to over the last 8 ( hint... see 2005's Brick). While watching JGL's performance it's pleasantly reminiscent of a pre-Brokeback Heath. He has such a charm about him that glows and an easy smile that jumps off the screen, plus much like Heath he has the chops to take it dark and lonesome with sincerity if the flick requires. The rest of the cast rounds out nicely with a few supporting folks like Clark Gregg who plays Tom's square Boss and Geoffrey Arend who is good for a few good sidekick chuckles. By the way special shout out to Ian Reed Kesler who played the "Douche" (IMDBs words not mine) with perfection. That must have been an interesting audition call.. looking for 30-something dude to play the "Douche". Well Played Sir!
Now the dynamic duo aside, Marc Webb the Director has got a little something-something going on. Past sins aside (directing Jesse McCartney videos, WTF?), it seems that his music video hipness lends a freshness and style to the overall appearance of this flick. The movie very rarely missed its mark and by golly its got real DEPTH!. Needless to say this makes it quite a bit more interesting then the latest McConaughey (dude what happened, you were so cool in Dazed) and Kate Hudson needs a paycheck mindless studio romance. You'll have lots to talk about and feelings to relive long after this ones stopped rolling the credits. Additional strong points here are a visual aesthetic that has a modern meets Capraesque remix, which felt very much built around Zooey Deschanel's fabulous style. The colors and landscape are all complimentary to the movie, downtown LA never looked so nice! The other thing we got going on here is a killer soundtrack, built around some Smiths, Doves, and a few others, not mention the fact that once again we get a chance to hear Zooey Deschanel do a little karaoke in the movie which is a tasty little treat.
Bottom line 500 Days is going to be on your mind in 2009 and chances are that like a good EX it will always pop back in your life and you'll dust if off and pop it in the player and go down memory lane remembering all good stuff, then like a swift punch in the gut like only a good EX can, it'll break your heart all over again.
See it, believe it.
Everyone loves summer. It's a time for friends, family, and fun.
Ballgames, barbecues, amusement parks, and movies, summer is just a
time to sit back, relax and enjoy. Enjoy time off, good weather and
whatever else it might bring. Am I missing something? Oh yes, love.
Summer is a time for love.
The film can be pretty much summed up in one of the first lines of the film. "This is a story of boy meets girl. But you should know up front, this is not a love story." But is it? 500 Days of Summer is not your typical romantic film. There's something to it, something more than your usual romantic comedy. Maybe it's the style it's done? Maybe it's the realistic nature? Maybe it's the wonderful music? Maybe its the beautiful cinematography? Maybe, its Tom and Summer...
Joseph Gordon-Levitt and Zooey Deschanel are the leads, Tom and Summer. These are real everyday people. Tom, a believer in true love. Summer, a doubter. Which reminds me of one particular scene where Summer questions Tom about believing in love. Tom replies, "It's love, it's not Santa Claus." It is a real thing, a crazy little thing called love. Tom falls in love with Summer from the start. She doesn't. Tom is like every other guy, and every guy knows of a girl like Summer. The girl they want, but can't have. They try, to no avail. It's frustrating, and Tom is frustrated. He's happy then sad. He doesn't know what to think. Gordon-Levitt and Deschanel have great chemistry together and give solid performances. You really believe their relationship and hardships. It makes you notice the little things in relationships. The film highlights two young stars on the rise. With some great performances lately for Joseph Gordon-Levitt, his stock is rising... dare I say an up and coming Heath Ledger?
The story is not in direct order as it goes back and forth from different days Tom remembers his life and relationship with Summer. When remembering, we may not remember every detail in order. We choose what we want to remember. May that be the good, or the bad. For Tom, it's a little bit of both. Big props to the editing department. The film shows the good and the bad of love, relationships, and life. There's something about it that sets it apart from the usual romantic comedy.
500 Days of Summer is really refreshing now a days. It's funny, unique, and true to life. It's got something for everybody to like. Director Marc Webb shines in his feature film debut. I'm interested to see where he goes from here. 500 Days of Summer has quickly become a late summer highlight for me and surprisingly so at that.
Who is Mark Webb? Anyone? Anyone? It is an astonishing piece of work for a first time feature film director. He counts with a beautifully crafted screenplay and two sensational leading performances and that's where the success of this comedy resides. Jodseph Gordon Levitt and Zooey Deschanel are two startling originals with a winning screen presence and a brain, yes, a brain. I was involved in their peculiar relationship because there isn't a hint of shallowness in their back and fourth. I believe it, completely, and when you sit in the dark and believe what you see on the screen, things are going to happen to you the way that happened to me. It is again a confirmation that treating your audience with respect will pay off somewhere along the line. I love Zooey Deschanel, she reminds me of some my favorites of the past without looking or sounding like anybody else. And Joseph Gordon Levitt, well, this young man is something else. He projects a humanity that doesn't need to be embellished. It's just there for us to dive into. Marvelous actor, marvelous performance, marvelous film. I'm so thrilled to be able to say that.
Greetings again from the darkness. The narrator warns us upfront ...
this is not a love story. Still, we are so preconditioned by Hollywood,
that directive merely floated around in my head until near the end of
the film when I realized it was perfectly accurate.
Joseph Gordon-Levit and Zooey Deschanel are the leads and each bring a certain quirkiness and sensitivity to their roles. Watching them grow as a couple just never quite clicks for the viewer the way it does for JGL's character. He buys in hook, line and sinker and believes his destiny for love is being fulfilled by Summer (Zooey).
Director Marc Webb throws a bit of everything at us - just to prove this is not a traditional love story. We get the fun of memory blender - flashbacks like Day 488, Day 2, Day 159 - well you get the point. That is how most of us remember anyway: non-linear. We also get a funny musical number in the park, a b & w Bergmanesque dramatization, and a leading man whose poetic musings are limited to his writing quips for a greeting card company. Oh, he also takes love advice from his 11 year old soccer-playing sister (Chloe Moretz), but wisely declines most of it from his best friend played by sexist, drunken (and funny) co-worker, Geoffrey Arend.
What I really like about the film is that it is different, yet very realistic. So often our "dream" girl is just not quite a fit in this world, yet she and the next guy are just right. Doesn't seem fair, but in reality, it is not only fair, but perfectly just. And remember, there is always another season ... maybe Autumn?
"This is a story of boy meets girl. The boy, Tom Hansen of Margate, New
Jersey, grew up believing that he'd never truly be happy until the day
he met the one. This belief stemmed from early exposure to sad British
pop music and a total mis-reading of the movie 'The Graduate'. The
girl, Summer Finn of Shinnecock, Michigan, did not share this belief.
Since the disintegration of her parent's marriage she'd only love two
things. The first was her long dark hair. The second was how easily she
could cut it off and not feel a thing. Tom meets Summer on January 8th.
He knows almost immediately she is who he has been searching for. This
is a story of boy meets girl, but you should know upfront, this is not
a love story."
500 Days of Summer is an intriguingly original take on falling in love. Every emotion involved with a relationship seems to be relayed; from the strange and quirky aspects of new love to the tragedy of heartbreak. Marc Webb deftly incorporates his ingenuity and comedy into the film. The writers quite skilfully enrich the film with one of the most immensely beautiful and original screenplays to come along in a while.
Tom, a greeting-card writer with artistic dreams beyond his mundane job, meets Summer and quickly falls for her. Eventually, he manages to charm her into a "casual relationship". So begins the 500 days that chronicle the happiness, heartbreak, and every other aspect involved with the often changing tides of romance.
500 Days of Summer portrays a relationship that is more realistic and less clichéd than most others in it's woefully unoriginal and formulaic genre. In doing so, the film never feels anything less than completely innovative and incredibly fun. The film's story is told in a refreshingly non-linear fashion that strives for and often reaches perfection with each and every scene.
The acting is wonderful, especially from the two leads. Since starring in Mysterious Skin (a disturbingly compelling film), Joseph Gordon-Levitt has been one of my favorite actors and proves yet again why he is one of the most talented actors of his generation. His performance was truly fantastic. Zooey Deschanel is absolutely wonderful in her portrayal of Summer and her quirky personalities. Their chemistry is wondrously compelling to watch and their moments together seem wholly convincing and genuine. The supporting cast is terrific throughout and very fun to watch.
The music was marvelous and really added to the film. Everyone involved does an amazing job to connect the several elements of love into a satisfying and moving conclusion. The film often shuffles between whimsy and realistic, but, rather than getting lost because of it, the story only seems to be enhanced due to the chaotically transitional moods.
500 Days of Summer is a hilarious, deftly thoughtful film about love. The performances are astonishing and the writing is sublime. It is a thoroughly clever and impressive film that shouldn't be missed.
This is the story of boy meets girl, but it is not a love story that
will unfurl. Instead a story about loves reactions, caused by two
peoples juvenile actions
A little rhyme I wrote in honor of this years funniest and most delightful film. In January 2009 I was able to attend the Sundance Film Festival where I viewed a number of superb movies but none so genius as this one. Unable to buy or book any tickets for the original showings I sadly set my thoughts on other films, till the last day. I had changed plans and went to the ticket office to exchange one movie ticket for another. It was then that I discovered they planned to screen another showing of 500 Days of Summer, due to its immense popularity. Immediately buying a ticket, I found myself in the theater a few hours later awaiting with batted breath. I looked around me and watched as Joseph Gorden Levitt took a seat in the row behind, smiling and shaking hands with a number of fans. Although I too was a great fan I couldn't bring myself to go over there, instead I stayed in my seat and the movie started.
An hour and a half later, I was standing up and applauding for all I was worth. In fact the whole cinema was, with every single audience member whistling, clapping and laughing at the brilliance of it all. Then Joseph Gorden Levitt, (the only cast member of the film who showed up) ran on stage and started answering questions. Bubbling with enthusiasm he jumped around, laughing, yelling, and keeping the lot of us entertained. He answered the straight questions with straight answers and the silly questions with straight out of hell silly answers. And at the end ran up and down the stage filming us all with a camcorder, saying he'd remember the day forever, I sure do.
Then he went back to his seat and as everyone exited the cinema I swallowed my pride, walked up and shook his hand saying, "Amazing performance, you're an inspiration." Then it was over, I found myself being shuffled with the crowd out of the theater and into the cold outside. But even though I was in a t-shirt, I couldn't feel the chill, being instead caught up in the entertainment and thoughts of a vibrant funny film.
A film that scores high in all the boxes and one I will certainly see again.
100 out of 100.
This was an excellent romantic comedy, although many might not agree
that it is either romantic or a comedy. I found myself laughing out
loud at many of the scenes, but the laughs in the theater were few, and
I think most people would label this a drama with streaks of black
The driving force behind what makes this movie work (beside the script) is Joseph Gordon-Levitt as Tom Hansen, who carries the movie on the basis of his physical comedy and acting ability. He is the unrequited love interest in the film. JGL does have brief glimpses of true love with Summer (Zooey Deschanel) but it's clear she's not interested in anything permanent, just a good time. After his initial sexual encounter with Summer, JGL engaged in a choreographed dance routine of Hall & Oats "Your Making my Dreams Come True", which should win JGL some type of award.
Deschanel plays the role she usually plays, soulful & pretty free spirit. She played the character very well and the movie viewer could well understand her reticence to engage in a long term affair with Tom.
These types of movies might leave some cold, but the ending turned out well.
One additional bonus was Chloe Moritz, who played Tom's younger teenage sister and Psycho-Analyst. She was great.
A very good movie worth checking out. A near perfect date movie I might add.
I don't regularly comment on movies, but this has a personal accord
My girlfriend of one year broke up with me the day before I went to watch this film, as promised.
That being said, Tom (Joseph Gordon Levit) embodies my apathy and frustration in every mannerism. He allows the audience to feel his pain and disappointment. Tom is a man with boyish ideals, coming to terms with the grief of rejection. He teaches her how one loves, yet she never learns to except and give as selflessly. Probably because, as I and Tom have painfully learned, you can't teach or bequile someone as you would a child into doing love 'properly.' And sometimes, true love dies, and no sea of tears can change that.
Summer, played by Zooey Deschanel, is fun, beautiful and selfish. Undoubtedly the villain, the film seeks a reversal of standards; the male is now being preyed upon.
Is Tom naive? or is Summer a cruel and self interested girl?
The only thing that really bothered me was the director's incessant need to punctuate scenes of emotional substance with cliché romantic comedy relief. He already broke custom, why conform?
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