(500) Days of Summer Review

I’m a man who thoroughly enjoys a good love story, emphasis on “good.” So many attempts at love stories happen all the time in Hollywood films. Many try to be sweet and different, but most end up being trite and mundane. (500) Days of Summer tries to bunk that trend because, as the tagline states: “This is not a love story. This is a story about love.”

(500) Days of Summer is about Tom (Joseph Gordon-Levitt), an architecture major working for a greeting card company. During one of his company’s meetings, Tom encounters his boss’ new assistant, Summer (Zooey Deschanel), and is immediately smitten by her. What follows is a record of the trials and tribulations that go along with starting, maintaining, and ending a relationship.

The first thing this film does right is that it presents the action in a non-linear story format. Jumping between the different days of their relationship keeps the scenes fresh and interesting, as the failed conclusion of said relationship is already given. Joseph Gordon-Levitt’s Tom is a character easy to relate to if ever you’ve been in a relationship, however blissful or miserable. He handles both with an air of knowing that only comes from experience of the extreme highs and lows unrequited love can bring. On the other side we have Zooey Deschanel’s Summer, able to manipulate the audience into sympathizing with her, hating her, longing for her, or simply not understanding her.

While I enjoyed the performances, my hat must go off to the writing and, moreover, the directing. I discussed some thoughts on director Marc Webb on my blog but never mentioned my thoughts on him as it pertains to this movie, which is positive. He did what a good director needs to do: get the absolute right performances out of his actors. His work, coupled with the work of cinematographer Eric Steelberg, provides a very old Hollywood-esque quality to the film. By that, I mean that they capture the cityscapes and architecture of Los Angeles in a very appealing and loving way and, furthermore, they know how to film their leading lady. I, like many other men, am, and have been, a big fan aesthetically of Zooey Deschanel for a little while; I have never, however, seen her look so beautiful. No matter the setting or context of the scene, Deschanel is in just the right amount of light, standing just the right way, and generally radiates waves of adorable. The fact that I can hate the character of Summer while at the same time completely understand Tom’s desire to remain with her is a testament to those two mens’ abilities.

I give (500) Days of Summer 4 sets of Zooey Deschanel’s lovely, doe-y blue eyes out of 5. Watch this movie right now on Putlocker

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