Reviews

(500) Days Of Summer

4

Feels much shorter…

Calling (500) Days Of Summer a by-numbers romcom isn’t the damning indictment it normally would be, because numbers are our main guide through the damaged romance of greeting-card writer Tom (Joseph Gordon-Levitt) and free spirit Summer (Zooey Deschanel). The film lits about its 500-day timeframe with almost random abandon, dropping in on, say, Day 290, then skitting off to 13, hanging at each digit for brief snippets of bitter/sweet incident or lengthier relationship milestones.

It’s the device that gives this indie its crafty hook. But while it might seem a tacit admission that (500) Days wouldn’t be half as interesting if it played out sequentially, nothing could be further from the truth, thanks to the creativity of first-timer Marc Webb’s direction and Scott Neustadter and Michael H Weber’s script.

When was the last time you watched a film where it was the girl being all “meh” about the guy? Capricious, floaty, enigmatic Summer doesn’t believe in love; sensitive, befuddled Tom convinces himself she’s the girl of his dreams. His adulation of The Smiths initially attracts her and they lurch into an awkward courtship heavy on Ikea visits, shower sex and pop music both cool and naff (Hall & Oates’ ‘You Make My Dreams Come True’ soundtracks one of several droll fantasy detours).

Some of the quirkiness misses the mark (Tom’s 12-year-old sister doling out ludicrously precocious advice). But mostly Daysoffers astute, funny insight into the confusion rife in love and infatuation. Gordon-Levitt anchors the film with an emotionally candid turn, while clichéd situations (i.e. the big break-up) are passed over in favour of more subtly revealing moments. And surely any film that has you wanting to download ‘She’s Like The Wind’ off iTunes is touched by something special.
 

Verdict:

Gordon-Levitt soars and Deschanel charms in a playful, witty, disordered telling of a fractured romance. Bringing fresh zing to a genre prone to predictability, Webb crafts a (not-in-) love story about feeling bad that’s infectiously good.

Film Details

User Reviews

    • edwardsnow

      Sep 2nd 2009, 17:27

      1

      Alert a moderator

    • grifter101

      Sep 3rd 2009, 11:27

      4

      Alert a moderator

    • luzanos

      Sep 5th 2009, 16:48

      4

      Fresh, witty, and most of all, with lots of original touches.

      Alert a moderator

    • somers16

      Sep 7th 2009, 23:18

      5

      re creates a genre that seemed dead. very well acted and very funny, with great editing and directing

      Alert a moderator

    • somers16

      Sep 7th 2009, 23:24

      5

      greatest rom com of all time

      Alert a moderator

    • MattMaytum

      Sep 9th 2009, 12:18

      4

      Definitely one of the most easy to enjoy films I've seen for a while, and falls nicely into that very niche category of blokey-rom-coms.

      Alert a moderator

    • vanillasky

      Sep 21st 2009, 17:48

      3

      I thought this film was very good and it was because Joseph Gordon Levitt carried it. Zooey Deschanels character Summer was cute but in the end I didn't like her character as she really walked all over him then practically spat in his face in the end. It was quite funny in the end when he is at the job interview and he meets another woman who then tells him her name and he just looks at the camera as if to say - ironic. Overall it was entertaining but I still would prefer Adventureland.

      Alert a moderator

    • TVC15

      Sep 25th 2009, 5:36

      4

      A rom com you feel you haven't seen a thousand times before.

      Alert a moderator

    • sjsmith88

      May 24th 2010, 17:58

      2

      Alert a moderator