(500) Days of Summer
July 24, 2009
Rated: PG-13 Runtime: 95 min Rating: 3 out of 5 stars
This movie will probably be described as an anti-romantic comedy, but that isn’t really accurate. It’s a romantic comedy about a romance that doesn’t work out.
Lest I be accused of spoilers, this is revealed in the first thirty seconds of the film.
Tom (Joseph Gordon-Levitt – 3rd Rock From the Sun, the exceptional movies Brick and The Lookout, and strangely enough, Cobra in the upcoming G.I. Joe movie) is a failed architect who works writing copy at a greeting card company. Enter Summer (Zooey Deschanel – The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy, and numerous Indie-films), the cute, ethereal, somewhat spooky new girl at the office. Tom is smitten.
What follows is 500 days of ups and downs in their relationship. We see it out of sequence; it jumps back and forth between the 500 days.
Everyone probably goes through this type of relationship early on; puppy dog love that’s blind to the fact that the object of its affections is actually a slightly different species all together.
One example, after their first sexual encounter, Tom walks through the park and imagines random passersby breaking into a coordinated musical number to celebrate his scoring.
This is a clever, funny movie that has some hard truths about relationships that you don’t always see in a romantic comedy.
And the worst part is, she’s completely honest with him: She doesn’t want a long term relationship, and she’s not seeing somebody else. That said, she is also playing games with him, with a studied obtuseness.
Sometimes the comedy is a little uneven; for a movie that seems to be trying to strike a realistic tone in much of it, it strikes a false note when Tom, in his cups at the nadir of their relationship, is reduced to writing greeting cards like “Rose are red, violets are blue,” (inside card) “Screw you, bitch!” Yeah, it’s kind of funny, but if he’s actually turning these in to his boss, it hints that he’s bipolar or something, not suggested otherwise in the film.
But there’s a lot of good stuff here. It’s a bittersweet comedy, and that’s not a throwaway reference; it’s bitter, and it’s sweet.
I do find myself wondering, if the movie hadn’t tipped us off at the beginning that the romance wasn’t going to work out, how audiences would take it. Disappointed that they didn’t get a typical Hollywood romantic comedy?
Popularity: 67% [?]
Seen it? How many stars do you give it?