"500 Days of Summer" Review


"This is not a love story. This is a story about love." This is the tag-line for "500 Days of Summer," but I have to disagree. Nothing about the film is new, having been been chewed up and puked out by the Julia Roberts' and Tom Hanks' of days gone by. In fact, this movie could be called "500 Things I've Already Seen" and it would probably be more appropriately titled. That being said, I loved it, and felt like it was written, directed, acted and edited just for me. Now, I feel like that says more about myself as a person than it does about the film, but unless you have a few hours, lets stick to critiquing the movie.

The story is simple - Tom (Joseph Gordon-Levitt) meets Summer (Zooey Deschanel), and falls head over heels in love with her. The movie is not told in a linear way, however - the film jumps from day 499 of their relationship to day 1, and everywhere in between so that the audience has to piece together the rough date of their break up to the rough date of their first conjugal ... encounter (which is rather early, in my opinion).

Like any other relationship, Tom and Summer begin to get into regular fights, and the audience gets to see their relationship deteriorate. Tom, being the optimist and a believer in true love, fights to save the relationship, and the film seems to echo his memory as he searches for the specific moment and place where the relationship turned sour.

While there are many films on love that analyze the notion of soul mates and fate, what separates "500" from the rest is the frequent association many movie protagonists and heroines have of deeming just one person "the one." Midway through the film, the audience will irrevocably want to stick Summer's face into a frying pan, but what she teaches Tom, along with all of those watching, is that we are frequently wrong about who are soul-mates are ... but that does not mean they do not exist.

In conclusion, the only gripe I had with the movie was its tag-line. The film was beautifully edited, acted and made me want to fall in love again, which was one of it's goals. Including a season like summer into the headline, along with naming a central character the same was an obvious way for the writer to say that there will be many more "Summers" in the future.

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