The Attempted Review of (500) Days of Summer

Posted by WhenYourGodGivesYouLemons On 12:14 AM

What it's All About.. So you've seen plenty of romance movies and romantic comedies and indie films like Juno? Well luckily you've come along to see (500) Days of Summer which is actually quite different from any of these. It focuses around Tom a failed architect who now works for a company who makes greeting cards. Enter Summer the new assistant to the boss of the company and the girl who Tom instantly falls for believing she is 'the one'. Unfortunately for Tom, Summer isn't really the type of girl who is looking for a serious relationship infact she is looking for the complete opposite. What ensues is charming tale where a great friendship is built, a budding romance is started and then things just get a little hazy and there's some drinking, crying, heartbreak; lots and lots of heartbreak and a wedding.

What it Did Well... The way the story was put together, like it was someone remembering a past relationship, was really good and different as it allowed the director to present the story all over the place without it looking terrible. You start the film at day 488 and from then it jumps all over the place to different moments in their relationship. This style really gave the director a license to take a few liberties with the storytelling and visually express how Tom was feeling in a certain situation, the dancing scene, or what he would have liked to have happened at a certain stage, the party scene. It was nice to see them try something new and I think it worked as you couldn't apply the typical romantic comedy formula to this one. Also I found the focus on the difficulties of relationships, that awkward moment when you don't know whether you are together or not, and the effects of extreme heartbreak, 'the one' turning you down, a nice change from the typical romance story.

The two leads were brilliant. They were not your typical leads in a romance film. They were far more realistic and down to earth than you would have expected. The girl wasn't the one who was looking to get married and settle down and Zooey Deschannel sold this image brilliantly with her little quirks, playful looks and general carefree, live for the moment style. Meanwhile you've got Joseph Gordon-Levitt as Tom, a guy who does actually believe in the story book romance and popular ideals of love. It was interesting to see a romantic comedy played out from the guys point of view and the feelings of uncertainty and confusion as he tried to establish what the hell sort of relationship he was in should be known to most of the audience. You really felt sorry for Tom in certain situations when he did something stupid or Summer threw him a complete curve-ball and it was the simple, believable acting from Levitt which wasn't your usual over the top rom-com style that helped bring that feeling.

The film was also a lot fun. This ranged from the script, which was obviously filled with lots of jokes, to the opening statement which said "Any resemblance to people living or dead is purely accidental. Especially Jenny Beckman. Bitch." to the style the film was shot in. Scenes like the one where Summer held a party and you were shown Tom's Expectations and Reality simultaneosuly worked because it hadn't taken itself seriously and frankly who doesn't go to a party and expect a certain outcome when in reality it's probably not going to happen. Also scenes like the interviews with Tom's friends about the topic of love were random but not out of place in the already random narrative that had been constructed. You didn't question why it had been put in because it was so funny and insightful into the workings of his friends that you just got swept away in the moment.

The film is also paired with a pretty good soundtrack. Whilst I didn't recognise all the songs on their I did enjoy most of them and thought they were chosen well for the scenes they were used in. In most cases they really helped set the mood for the scene and added a nice commentary without really saying anything.

What it Didn't... There was this random little girl who couldn't have been any older than 14 and she was constantly dishing out advice to Joseph Gordon Levitt's character. You didn't know where she came from, you only assumed she was like a little sister? Anyway she was always dishing out advice to him and you had to sit there and think, regardless of the fact that she is a girl how could she possibly know so much about relationships already? It was just a bit of a stretch and it would have been better if her role was given to someone a little older.

There also wasn't a huge amount of story to the film. It relied heavily on its interesting way of TELLING the story which was in a series of semi-flashback thingos to certain points in Tom and Summer's 'relationship' but whilst in those flashbacks they didn't go into much of a story outside of them going to the movies or the record shop in their boy loves girl, girl doesn't, not relationship. Seriously that is the story. It didn't really string out some sort of lesson learnt or understood until the very end which was dealt with via a quick voice over narration.

Also I think Matthew Gray Gubler's character was ridiculously underused. He appeared about 5 or 6 times and pretty much what you saw of him in the trailers was what you got. He was a funny and interesting character whilst he was on screen and I just would have liked to have known more about him but then again that may just be my Matthew Gray Gubler man crush talking.

Memorable Moment... Following on from the statement earlier that the film was a lot of fun there is one scene where you definitely know the director is having a lot of fun with the movie and the audience. Tom has just successfully slept with Summer and is off to work the next morning. He is overly happy because his life is happy and he greets everyone along the way to work. Coincidentally everyone is wearing blue which is what we see Summer wearing most of the time and her eyes are also very blue. As he is heading to work he begins to dance in the street with random people because he is just that happy. Now personally I hated it when Peter Parker started dancing in the street in Spiderman 3, he just looked like a loser and it didn't fit the feel of the film. In (500) Days of Summer I didn't mind the dancing as you were already informed of the playful, spur of the moment nature of the film and you could just enjoy the random moments of the film. It was then paired brilliantly with a shot of Tom a few hundred days in the future when he is miserable after 'breaking up' with Summer.

What it All Means... (500) Days of Summer is a film much like the woman it focuses on. It plays out in the moment, not knowing what's going to happen next and as an audience it is hard not to get swept up in the moment. You aren't wondering when the tired cliches from all other rom-com films are going to rear their ugly head because you are too busy concentrating on the here and now. Throw in the fact that it's from a guys perspective and you have an interesting take on the genre which results in a funny, charming and ultimately enjoyable movie. I'm giving (500) Days of Summer 7 and a half out 10.



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