(500) Days of Summer

Anon, 2009. [poster] Available at:<http://www.screenadventure.com/images/500daysofsummer2551512.jpg>  [Accessed 17 December 2012].

I have been aware of this film since it’s release in 2009 but unbelievably only just got around to watching it last week. This movie directed by Marc Webb is a little homage to everything indie pop culture, with references to bands such as The Smiths, Wolfmother, The Pixies and Doves. Regardless of your reaction to the characters and story  this makes great viewing for anyone who takes their indie music seriously.

The last line from the opening introduction by the narrator (Richard McGonagle) sums up the next 90 minutes: ” This is a story of boy meets girl, but you should know upfront, this is not a love story”

Our protagonist Tom (Joseph Gordon-Levitt) has grown up believing in the fairytale stories of love and romance he saw in films and heard in songs as a boy. Now Tom in convinced that he will never truly be happy untill he meets ‘the one’. On the other hand, his love interest Summer does not feel the same as Tom and is very sceptical about the notion of love and feelings, this is linked to her parents divorce.

The format of the film is a little bizarre, it jumps back and forth to different days between 1: the day he first saw Summer and day 500: the final encounter we see him have with her. Because of the way the film goes back and forth through time it does not focus it’s attention on development of the relationship, but rather the feelings and moments that made Tom think that he was falling in love with the girl of his dreams. You see the good moments and bad, in retrospect from the guy’s point of view, in a charming and funny way.

The real conflict in this movie is in Summer’s character (Zooey Deschanel ) After Tom and summers first kiss in the copy room where they work it’s clear that Tom see’s the relationship becoming committed and loving, however summer really just wants a friend with benefits. It’s too easy to judge and label summer as a heart breaker, emotionless, a selfish woman that took advantage of Tom, but it’s important to remember that Summer spelt out her intentions from the beginning, just as the narrator had at the start of the film.

When summer leaves tom for good he is devastated, unable to move on, he continues to feel sorry for himself and pine for Summer. Through his heartbreak he turns to his friends and his sister who becomes the voice of reason telling tom: ”Just because she likes the same bizzaro crap you do doesn’t mean she’s your soul mate”

I really enjoyed this film and I believe that anybody who is intelligent, thoughtful and a bit of a nerd should definitely see this film. It represents the good, bad and the ugly of relationships, falling in and out of love, heartbreak, dealing with unrequited love and coping with moving on with your life after the a breakup.

Sources:

IMDB, 2012. (500) Days of Summer. [online] Available at: <http://www.imdb.com/title/tt1022603/>  [Accessed 17 December 2012 ].

(500 Days of Summer), 2009. [Film] Directed by Marc Webb. USA: Fox Searchlight Pictures.

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