(500) Days of Summer
(500) Days of Summer is a mesmerizing original film about a boy in love. It’s not so much a film about a couple, but about a half a relationship. One side of that relationship desires every cliche seen in every romantic comedy while the other desires, seemingly nothing. We never quite understand what she wanted or needed from this so called relationship, but that’s the point. When you’re young and in love, many times it’s with someone who doesn’t reciprocate those feelings. You never get to understand where the other person is coming from when you’re so blinded by love. You miss the obvious signs, because even if one day the person tells you they clearly don’t want a relationship, they can accidentally graze your hand the next day and you’ll think it means something. Maybe they changed their mind or maybe even there’s still hope.
This is a movie about hope. We see it with their first interaction in the elevator. Tom has already convinced himself that Summer, the new girl at the office, is not for him. He had to convince himself one way or another (either she’s out of his league or even a giant slut) that it wouldn’t work out between them. Until she heard him listen to her favorite band, The Smiths, there was no way to know this girl he’d see everyday at work could be perfect for him. That happens in love. You realize you have a connection so you use that as a hook to reel in what could be. It makes you literally crazy. Especially when the relationship fails, because how could it fail?? Everything was perfect and we had everything in common.
We know from the beginning of the movie that this won’t have a happy ending. We see him trying, unsuccessfully, to get over Summer with the help of his two best friends and his extremely wiser little sister. (Who I was surprised to realize is one of my new favorite actresses, Chloe Grace Moretz, who can be seen in last years best film Hugo and the most recent 30 Rock) But even though we know it’s going to end bad, we as a viewer, still have hope. It’s literally that feeling of watching a movie for the second time and hoping the ending changes and maybe Jack will try one more time to get on that damn floating door so he and Rose can live happily ever after. We desperately want Tom to be happy because we all were Tom at one point.
What I also love about this movie is that it takes the cliches of most romantic comedies and makes them smart. The Hall and Oats dance sequence could have happened in a Katherine Heigl movie but the viewer would have just rolled their eyes. It works here because at that moment the viewer was ready to jump up and sing along. As I said before, the viewer is Tom. So when Tom gets up in front of his colleagues and bashes love, we understand because while we may not have the guts to jeopardize our jobs like that, we certainly want to.
The scene that splits between expectation and reality is a kicker because just about everyone can relate to it. It’s not kind of like a feeling you know, it’s EXACTLY like it. Joseph Gordon-Levitt really carries the movie with his glances and reactions. I may be bias considering I would watch him stare a wall for 2 hours, but he is absolutely perfect in the role. You need someone extremely likeable and slightly goofy because the character of Tom is supposed to be us. The viewer is supposed to jump in his shoes and fall in and out of love. And of course we all would like to consider ourselves to be extremely likable.
I began re-watching this movie while casually cleaning my room, but 10 minutes into it I found myself sitting in front of the computer with a disaster of a room behind me, because I was so immersed in the giddy feeling of a new relationship and new possibilities.
This movie has a perfect ending too because after these past 500 days it would be so frustrating to not find happiness. Once again, we’re left with new possibilities but since the story ends there, we can pretend things end a little different. This time reality ends and our expectations can continue.
-This is the movie that got me, and surely many other people, into The Temper Trap. Sweet Disposition is absolutely the most perfect song for this movie.
-Community shout out Yvette Nicole Brown with her one scene as the new secretary. (NBC 8pm Thursday nights. Watch Community!)
-How freaking adorable was Joseph Gordon-Levitt during his dance sequence?? How could that not put a smile on your face???
-I really didn’t talk about Zooey Deschanel during the review, but while I’m kind of over her dorky cute girl routine, I have to say she was cast perfectly.
-I was a little late getting to this movie. I got sick, went on a vacation and the rest of the time I was lazy. But my next movie on deck to watch is 2 Days in Paris.