(500) Days of Summer
Summer 2010 Summer Films series
Sunday, July 4, 2010 at 8:00pm
Directed by Marc Webb
Screenplay by Scott Neustadter and Michael H. Weber
Starring Zooey Deschanel, Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Clark Gregg, Minka Kelly
Rated PG ·
English, French, Swedish
Fans of High Fidelity and Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind will be charmed by this quirky film that sheds a linear plot in favor of a memory-driven look at a failed romance.
Joseph Gordon-Levitt (Brick) stars as Tom, a greeting-card writer who dreams of becoming an architect and finding his true love. Zooey Deschanel (The Happening) plays Summer, a vintage-looking beauty whose ideas about love are entirely modern. As Tom remembers his 500 days with Summer, his mind jumps from moment to moment, largely thinking of the good times in their trouble-filled relationship. Indie darlings Deschanel and Gordon-Levitt are perfectly cast in this sweet, funny film that infuses the typical romantic tropes with reality. Anyone else would have caused audiences to hate Summer, but Deschanel is adorable enough that she still endears herself to viewers. Arthouse favorite Gordon-Levitt hasn’t played a traditional romantic lead since 10 Things I Hate About You in 1999, but here he proves equally adept at portraying Tom’s sweetness and his neuroses.
Music-video director Marc Webb makes his feature debut with (500) Days of Summer, and it’s easy to see influences of his past work. The soundtrack boasts songs from Regina Spektor, Doves, Feist, Wolfmother and, of course, The Smiths, the band that brings the couple together. Webb also adds an innovative style to the dramedy, combining a naturalistic look at love with a non-linear plot, animated vignettes and a triumphant musical sequence.
The film’s mixture of cynicism and romance makes it perfect viewing for all kinds of people in the audience including happy couples, the recently dumped and the hopeful singles.