Movie review time!
First things first, I have a MASSIVE girl crush on Zooey Deschanel, so I might be a little bit biased. (Oh-em-gee, if wikipedia is correct, we share a birthday. Ahhh!!) But I think even if I despised her, this movie would be great.
‘(500) Days of Summer‘ is quirky and it’s fun. Tom Hansen, played brilliantly by Joseph Gordon-Levitt (aka that kid from 3rd Rock From the Sun), could be a great architect but instead he writes greeting cards.
Summer Finn (Deschanel) comes in as his boss’ (Clark Gregg, who I could not for the life of me place, but just realized it’s Julia Louis-Dreyfuss’ ex in ‘The New Adventures of Old Christine’) assistant. Tom pretty much falls in love with her immediately.
‘Summer’ floats around Tom and Summer’s relationship, with nifty little placards (I mean, I guess they could be called placards, but not really…) indicating which day of the relationship the scene will be.
The voice-over who narrates key parts of the film warns that ‘Summer’ “is not a love story,” which seems a little confusing, because clearly the entire thing is about a romantic relationship.
Clarity came when I saw that the tagline on the poster outside the theatre read, “This is not a love story. It is a story about love.” And it is. These are two very different things.
‘Summer’ highlights the most raw feelings we encounter when we are in love – Gordon-Levitt’s walk to work turns into a musical number as he leaves his house after sleeping with Summer for the first time. We feel his pain when she tells him, after running through Ikea pretending each room display was part of their house and crashing into a bed (“Darling, I don’t know how to tell you this, but there’s a Chinese family in our bathroom,” Tom says in one of the funniest moments of the movie, complete with the whole family staring at the couple lying in bed), that she’s not looking for anything serious.
Their struggles with defining what they are – Tom is head over heels in love, Zooey doesn’t believe in love after her parent’s divorce – are at the core of the film.
There are twists, and this is not a traditional cookie-cutter rom-com. In the end, the guy doesn’t win over the girl who stomped on his heart over pancakes. If you’re looking for a picture perfect ending, be warned. But ‘Summer’ is compelling and touching through and through. Even if the ending isn’t what you expect, it’s a different kind of happily-ever-after.
Find (much more in-depth) reviews here and here.