Thursday, August 20, 2009

Review: (500) Days of Summer

(I actually saw this last week, but I keep forgetting to review it!)

This is the hot movie of the summer - and for good reason. It's a bittersweet love story - or an almost love story. I'm not giving anything away there: the movie begins by saying it's NOT a love story.

Tom and Summer are co-workers at a greeting card firm, and Tom falls hard for her almost immediately. She warns him that she doesn't believe in love, doesn't want to get serious, but he asks her out anyway. They seem to be moving towards a serious relationship, but something goes awry. I won't say any more! But we all have a Summer somewhere in our past - someone that we were sure was THE one, but they seem to have other ideas. We can all relate to the journey that Tom is on.

I thought it was a charming movie. I've admired the work of the two leads for years, and they have terrific chemistry. You might remember Joseph Gordon-Levitt from his costarring role on the tv show "Third Rock From the Sun" - and it's great to see how he's matured as an actor. He seems to be a rare success story - an adolescent actor who's made the transition to adult parts. Zooey Deschanel is always playing a kookie, off-beat character - she played Will Farell's girlfriend in "Elf" and her sister Emily stars in "Bones." The two actors have apparently been friends for years and finally found this film in which to co-star - excellent choice.

The action of the film follows the relationship as it builds, ebbs, and flows over the 500 days. But it's not chronological, which makes the story richer. You see the origin of one in-joke on one of their first dates, then see how thin it has worn by the 300th day. For the most part, the story is told from Tom's viewpoint, which colors our view of the relationship. Yet, when the end comes and the puzzle pieces are linked, we see how it fits.

This is a great summer "romance" film. It is a romantic film, but one that turns the convention on its ear. It's sweet, funny, poignant, charming. Not sure if it's a date film, but my solo girlfriends and I really liked it!

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