(500) Days of Summer 8/10
(500) Days of Summer (PG-13) 2009
Reviewer's Tilt (3)
Special DVD Features worth a look – Deleted and Extended Scenes
Contains forced trailers.
500 Days of Summer bends the romance movie genre, jumping around between 500 days in the lives of Tom (Joseph Gordon-Levitt) and Summer (Zooey Deschanel). Tom writes romantic clichés for greeting cards and Summer takes a job as Tom’s boss’ assistant. While Tom is instantly smitten, he realizes Summer’s beauty, charm and general ZooeyDeschanelosity places her well out of his league.
During a night out with co-workers, Summer discovers Tom is attracted to her. The next day at work, Summer initiates a physical relationship with Tom. She makes it clear they are not boyfriend and girlfriend, but Tom believes they are more than merely friends with benefits. The film boasts much wit and whimsy in its story-telling, as well a spectacularly placed dance number. The real beauty of this film however, rests with its confidence to step beyond the template of a typical Hollywood romance and explore the harsh reality of a one-sided love affair.
One can never know love until one knows unrequited love. Unrequited love embodies a permanence and grandeur that becomes more romanticized over time. The good parts take on a stylized beauty, while the bad parts merely fade from memory. One forgets the subtle, intentional distancing, and only remembers how it made the heart grow fonder. This film is a testament to the collapse of a one-sided romance, one that is both riveting and heartwrenching.
The film is not without flaws. Rather than avoid clichés altogether, director Marc Webb merely pushes them all into the last three minutes. To invest so much in Tom’s journey means understanding the pain and the scar. Webb’s fairy floss after the park bench scene tries to sate this pain, but merely marginalizes the journey. If you can avoid watching the final scene, 500 Days of Summer offers a unique insight into a side of love rarely treated with such honesty and reverence.
Format: Color, Widescreen Anamorphic, Closed captioned.
Sound: (Dolby Digital 5.1).
Extras: Deleted and Extended Scenes. Commentary by Director Marc Webb, Writer Michael Webber, Co-Writer Scott Newstator and Actor Joseph Gordon-Levitt