(500) Days Of Summer: Movie Review
Cast: Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Zooey Deschanel, Geoffrey Arend,
Chloe Moretz, Matthew Gray Gubler.
Director: Marc Webb
Okay right from the off, I am going to issue you a warning.
Much like the start of the movie, which emphasises that the following film is
not a love story, (500) Days of Summer will divide people's opinions.
To some the quirky factor of 11 may be too much to handle or the main
protagonist will either come across as doleful and sympathetic or whiny and
irritating. Seriously I saw this with three friends and we were divided straight
down the line - two loved it and two hated it. As you can see from the rating
above, we are heading into safe waters with this review.
Joseph Gordon-Levitt (GI Joe, Third Rock From The Sun and half the indie
movies of the last five years) stars as Tom, a bored greeting card writer and
frustrated architect, who is going nowhere fast.
Tom has settled with what he's been given in life, but that all changes when
Summer (Zooey Deschanel) is hired as a new secretary in his firm. It's love at
Backed up by his suitably quirky mates (aren't they always in movies?), Tom
finally talks to Summer over their love of those happy British rockers, The
And so the picture begins as both fall in and out of love, all told from the
point of view of the lovelorn Gordon-Levitt.
First-time director Marc Webb is certainly given the freedom to play with the
typical romantic comedy structure. The film plays with time, going from the
first feelings of love to the bitter taste of a broken relationship, then back
to the awkward initial moments of intimacy, then back again.
Webb also plays with animated sequences and in a bizarre moment, a full scale
Busby Berkeley-style dance number in a park. But the great thing is it all
works. Yes it's quirky, yes it wants to be different but it doesn't feel
Gordon-Levitt has developed from geeky child actor, through geeky teen, to
geeky adult but his fine comedic chops stand him well in the more humorous
moments. After years of honing his skills in independent movies, (500) Days of
Summer, along with his appearance in GI Joe this year, mean he has well and
truly arrived in the megaplexes.
Zooey Deschanel plays pretty much the same doe-eyed-ingénue-with-an-edge role
as usual and isn't really asked an awful lot to do, but she is a perfect foil to
There are other minor quibbles, including the slightly overbearing
soundtrack, which clearly is hoping that it's mix of trendy, 80s Britpop and
French ballads would send it top of the CD charts, just like the soundtrack to
that other indie darling Juno.
But overall this is a gem of a movie.
It turns the traditional romantic comedy on its head and will leave you
smiling as you leave the cinema. Or of course you could hate the movie like my
friends -up to you to decide