500 Days of Summer (Marc Webb,2009)

A quick review

500 days of summer seems like a typical love story but I am here to tell you now it is certainly not. The film starts as a trailer to some of the romantic comedies you hear about and watch but the romance ends rather abruptly. With the film/Nonlinear narrative instantly comparing our two stars crossed lovers and bluntly stating their inevitable break up we know what will happen. With the two hour light-hearted comedy beginning at the end of their relationship and switching between day 1 of Tom Hanson (Joseph Gordon-Levitt) meeting Summer Finn (Zooey Deschanel) to their complete breakup on day 500, it really is a unique twist on the genre.

Narrator: 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

When Tom Hanson falls in love with summer Finn at work, we follow the two from start to finish of their relationship…just not in the right order. With a girl who doesn’t believe in love and a guy who has spent his entire life searching for it, their two worlds collide and end in a devastating collapse.

There is no such thing as love, its fantasy.

I think you will know when you feel it.

I guess we should just agree to disagree.

Despite the depressing nature of the film and the loss of Toms hope, the film is light-hearted and generally puts the audience in a good mood.  With some hilarious scenes to the film and an honest portrayal of what on entire cycle of a relationship is like, you can’t help but relate to either of the characters.  This includes the meet cue, the awkward silences, the first kiss, the famous third date, to discussing the future to the eventual resenting and “I just want to be friends” talk.

500 days of summer movie poster.

500 days of summer movie poster.

We see great link between the past and current status of the relationships with repetition of scenes and cute couple things that people do, just with very different reactions depending the stage of the relationship.  I feel this truly represents how people change overtime and how people eventually fall in and out of love. The Anachronic Order is really an interesting take on a media text that we should all see more of to make a story far more interesting.

For me the best scene in the film is the stereotypical Disney song and dance, when everyone knows all the moves and looks far too happy. This scene includes Tom dancing after finding his true loves witch is accompanied by a catchy song and animated birds. However, ends on him stepping into a lift all happy and then skipping to day 300 where we see him looking incredibly warn out. The cross over and juxtaposition truly is brilliant.

The sound track of this film is beautiful and works within every scene of the film. If you wanted to create a unique and interesting film with some fantastic cross overs and use of sound, 500 days of summer is one to teach you a thing or two.

However, despite the slightly depressing factors of the film with our main character losing his will to live, the feature ends happy, with summer leaving his life and the eventual introduction of autumn. After all when summer is over autumn will always follow.

Check out my review on Warm bodies (Jonathan levine, 2013) another unconventional love story.



How have you not seen this?

Deathbyapril- April Ely.  


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