It's ideal to see a movie before you read anything about it. This way, you go into it unadulterated...a blank slate. Sometimes, curiosity wins. I read a disparaging review for 500 Days of Summer. I didn't think I'd end up seeing it, despite my love of Joseph Gordon-Levitt. But, when a friend wanted to see it, I decided, why not?
When Tom (Joseph Gordon-Levitt) meets Summer (Zooey Deschanel), he is enchanted, certain she's The One. The movie chronicles their romance over 500 days, presenting many of the days out of order but weaving the story, giving the audience the nuts and bolts of their situation. Summer declares from the start she doesn't want a relationship. You learn her parents' divorce had a huge impact and she's not ready/sure about going there. Tom is over the moon so he accepts her limitations. When he wants more definition about their relationship, she doesn't; they're having fun, it should be enough, she declares. They continue like this until Summer calls for a break. Then, Tom is left having to analyze the situation and discover what went wrong. Did he miss the signs? From this viewer's perspective, Summer was explicit from the beginning, but she also played certain games and gave mixed messages. Tom tries to sort it out, ultimately feeling this love is worth it. He doesn't give up hope he can win Summer back.
I loved it, the reviewer hated it and my friend wasn't thrilled with it. The leads are excellent--they embody their roles and give us authenticity. They both love The Smiths (huge boon). Gordon-Levitt is genius at portraying any emotion. The secondary characters are fun, especially's Tom's buddy, McKenzie (Geoffrey Arend). The IKEA scene is whimsical. The movie made me smile a lot. I liked that it was left of the usual romantic comedy formula. It presents a view about what love is, how two folks in a relationship can view it so diametrically opposed and how it can go awry unexpectedly with you in the driver's seat. And, the music is an excellent framework for a good story.
Director: Marc Webb
Run time: 95 minutes