A brief intro:
500 Days of Summer is a romantic comedy cum drama directed by Marc Webb (who is actually, more accustomed to directing music videos), that was originally an independent production, but was subsequently distributed by Fox Searchlight Pictures in 2009. And what a brilliant piece of business it proved to be as the movie garnered critical acclaim, standing ovations, 2 Golden Globe nominations and an unwavering recognition for its brilliant story telling and script; and we fully support the overwhelmingly positive responses it received.
We know of very few other movies that have as beautiful a title as the one you see above - It’s abstract, indirectly direct and made us smile once Tom Hansen, played by Joseph Gordon-Levitt, introduced us to the lead female character of the show, Summer Finn, who is exquisitely brought to life by the very infectious and curiously named; Zooey Deschanel.
The story is presented in a nonlinear narrative, with viewers being informed in the beginning of the movie that this is not a love story; a proposition that is also the accompanying tagline on posters, although it more accurately read “This is not a love story, it’s a story about love”. It was wordplay that could’ve turned out to be a corny direction for the movie; thankfully, it was anything but.
The film begins by showing us Tom, a greeting card copywriter, in a depressed state having just gone through his break-up with Summer, the girl who simply walks into his office and then into his life. The rest of the film subsequently tells us of their relationship, his process of self-realization, growing up, and ultimately his “getting over” Summer through a period of 500 days; with animations and title cards introducing each scene. For us, it seemed to hit a similar presentation note as The Notebook, but of course in a much less “romance novel” manner. But if you liked the Notebook, you’ll probably like this as well.
What we liked…
Joseph Gordon-Levitt whom we only remember from the sitcom “3rd rock from the sun”, literally came out of nowhere and earned himself a Best Actor nomination at the Golden Globes with a sincere, vulnerable, and completely relatable performance that effectively took us on that emotional rollercoaster ride he was on.
Zooey Deschanel’s undeniable charm and girl-next-door appeal was perfect for the role, and well we were fans before this, but even more so now.
Special recognition has to go to the 2 relatively unknown writers, who penned the script of this movie based on personal experiences, and the disclaimer “Any resemblance to people living or dead is purely accidental ... Especially you, Jenny Beckman ... Bitch." Was spawned from genuine emotions, and actually made the movie feel all the more honest and sincere.
500 Days of Summer is a real gem and we’re just sad that we only managed to catch the movie so long after its release. And it’s shows like this that make independent films get the attention and recognition they deserve.
It’s just amazing that a film about 500 days of a young man’s infatuation with a girl, which could’ve been a phase out of any average guy’s life, could be this brilliantly pieced together.