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(500) Days of Summer is a Win!

  • SumoMe

(500) Days of Summer is a veritable breath of fresh air with its non-conventional story-telling, quirky streams of thought and all round, loveability

Review by Penny V

(500) Days of SummerWhere most movies based on the all encompassing emotion of love is based from a woman’s perspective, (500) Days of Summer takes on Tom Hanson’s belief in true love. While so rarely done, it goes to show that everyone falls into the trap of a fantasy based on one’s own envisioned soul mate; whether they choose to admit it or not and even when the ground rules are set.

Tom Hanson, played by Joseph Gordon-Levitt is a trained architect working in a greeting card company and meets the girl of his dreams, the quirky and charming Summer Finn. Overflowing with witty dialogue and palpable chemistry between the two lead actors, the film flows at a good pace though it is told in a non-sequential manner – jumping back and forth in time.

Devoid of the usual cookie-cutter formulas that are the bane of romantic comedies everywhere, Marc Webber, who makes his feature debut, focuses on the emotions that run rampant during a whirlwind romance; rather than cheap foibles that make most on-screen relationships seem contrived.

From the beginning of the movie with its funny disclaimer (“Any resemblance to people living or dead is purely accidental … Especially you, Jenny Beckman … Bitch.”) and quick fast-forward, you know that this isn’t going to end with a happily ever after. The co-writer of the film, Scott Neustadter even admitted that it was based on a real romance he encountered, which speaks for the realistically infused bitterness behind Tom Hanson’s voice in parts of the film.

(500) Days of SummerA hopeless romantic, Tom believes that Summer, played by the quirky Zooey Deschanel, is “The One”. Summer on the other hand is rather sceptical on the concept of love and is not wont for a boyfriend, though she still expresses interest, with boundaries that she’s not looking for anything serious. Agreeing along that line, Tom falls head over heels for her (or in any case arse over kettle) and deludes himself that she is too.

Once she makes him realise that his expectations and reality don’t match up, it all starts to crumble. Through all this, Tom has his own little lamp of wisdom in the form of his young sister, Rachel (Chloë Moretz), who tells him with brutal honesty, “Just because she likes the same bizzaro crap as you, doesn’t make her your soulmate.”

(500) Days of Summer presents some unconventional story-telling in this genre. We’re not witnessing their relationship for what it is, but what is seen through Tom’s rose-tinted vision, this is particularly affirmed during the satirical Hall and Oates “You Make My Dreams Come True” song-and-dance sequence, complete with a Disney-fied animated bird. For Zooey, it was quite a challenge as she wasn’t so much portraying a character, as much as she was portraying someone’s vision of her.

All in all, with its great casting, painfully real and awkward moments, as well as a departure from the usual maniacal stream of sex-ridden and juvenile formulas that are rife within the genre, (500) Days of Summer makes for a really great movie.

Trivia: Did you know that the film was steeped in the colour blue so it could bring out Zooey Deschanel’s defining feature: her eyes. Highlighted through various close-ups and framing, blue was seen from the ribbon in her hair, the clothes she wore, and even the little touches from the office to her home.

Thumbs: 4 out of 5
Oh: It did start to feel a little lengthy near the end.
Loved it all!
Verbatim: “One day I woke up and I knew…what it was that I wasn’t sure about with you.” Summer explaining how she knew “The One” for her to Tom, who unfortunately isn’t that person. Ouch.

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