Monday, 28 September 2020
(500) Days of Summer
Written by Sandra Fitzpatrick   
Thursday, 13 August 2009 00:00
fivehundredposterWhile watching Third Rock from the Sun as a kid, I always knew little Tommy would grow up to be something special. Now not only is Joseph Gordon-Levitt starring in the Hollywood blockbuster G.I. Joe – he’s also getting some serious attention for his turn in (500) Days of Summer, a little indie-film that has become a huge hit. And did I mention his characters name is still Tom?

(500) Days of Summer isn’t exactly your typical romantic comedy. The stars aren’t Hollywood A-listers or Barbie and Ken clones who fall madly in love and live happily ever after. In fact, it is actually a tale of unrequited love that alters the lives of the two people involved. It’s a realistic look at relationships and how even the ones that don’t work out can sometimes leave you utterly changed.

fivehundredpic1“Summer” is actually the name of the girl Tom falls in love with and the “500 days” represents the duration of their relationship. She comes to work at the greeting card company where Tom is a writer. At first glance he is utterly convinced that the dark haired, doe-eyed girl is “the one” and it seems she likes him too. The problems arise from the fact that Tom is a die-hard romantic who believes in true love, while Summer is skeptical and insists that love is a fantasy. She blatantly states that she isn’t looking for anything serious and doesn’t want to label their relationship, but he just can’t help himself from wanting more.

fivehundredpic2The movie cleverly flips back and forth through the numbered days so we get glimpses of the relationship at different points in time. There are plenty of surprises along the way, including lots of funny quirky moments and even a choreographed dance number complete with cartoon animals! It all works well together and tells the story in a very effective way. We want these characters to be happy and care about what happens – especially with Tom who is refreshingly shy and polite. He is so different from other male leads in romantic comedies lately. Joseph Gordon-Levitt plays him with sincerity and I really found myself relating to his naïve and idealistic view of romance. Zooey Deschanel doesn’t usually hit more than one note in her roles. I’m a bigger fan of her musical career with the band She and Him than I am of her acting. But I have to admit she enchanting to watch, even though her facial expression and tone of voice rarely changes. Her dry style is appropriate for the character of Summer, who it seems is kind of numb emotionally.

I really enjoyed (500) Days of Summer. It’s an interesting film both visually and story wise, totally different from a predictable Hollywood romance. It’s touching, a bit melancholy but with a message of hopefulness for the fate of broken hearts everywhere. True love really does exist, but learning along the way is just as important.