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I first saw this film in the cinema, when it was first released. To be honest, I didn't hold out too much hope that it would be much more than an average romcom, but I have to admit it was so much better than that, it has become one of my favourite films and is one of the few films I've watched more than once, with the latest viewing being last night.
The title of the film might give the wrong impression that this is going to be some kind of sickly sweet romcom about a summer romance. Wrong. The story of the main characters, Summer and Tom (Zooey Deschanel and Joseph Gordon-Levitt), is actually told back to front, and the film begins by showing them breaking up. It then switches between the beginning of their relationship, showing how they got together, and the bits in between which led to their decline. Their relationship and its demise lasts for 500 days, hence the title "500 Days of Summer".
Although the description of this film sounds a bit low on "plot" as such, it is a film which is done in such a clever way, it really does make a refreshing change from the usual boy-meets-girl romcom. The film has a voiceover, which gives us a commentary on what's happening at various stages. This helps the viewer keep track, as the film jumps between different stages of the main characters' relationship. For example, we might get a scene showing "Day 53" where the relationship is relatively new and the couple are completely loved up, and this might be followed by "Day 370" where the cracks are starting to show and it's obvious they're not quite as loved up as they were at the beginning.
I loved the contrast between the different time scales, showing the demise of the couple's relationship. It makes really interesting observations, for example on one day it shows them walking round Ikea, and Tom is messing round pretending to live in the different rooms which are laid out. Summer looks at him with absolute contempt, like she's wondering what on earth she sees in him. This is then followed by an earlier day in their relationship, where they're walking round Ikea, he's doing the same thing, and she finds it the funniest thing ever. It's a good reminder how easy it is for a relationship to get stale if each partner doesn't work at it.
The acting in this film is convincing, although I personally prefer the male character to the female lead part. I think this is because he's a down-to-earth unassuming kind of guy, and he's so besotted with Summer I find that really sweet. He reminds me of the guy out of "The Office", just plodding along in a career he doesn't really enjoy, wishing his life away by living for the weekends. He works for a card company writing those awful captions you find in cards, one of which is the title of this review. I found his character quite vulnerable and this endeared me to him. Summer, on the other hand, has plenty of confidence, and I found her a little self-centred to be honest. I got the impression she enjoyed having guys chase after her, and deliberately made herself a bit mysterious for attention. I also find her voice a little annoying if I'm honest!
This film is such a pleasure to watch, it's cleverly executed and I love all the little references in between. For example, at the beginning when they're first getting together, they're both in the lift at the same time in work, and Tom is listening to a Smiths song "There is a light that never goes out". This sparks a conversation between them, and I loved this reference because it's something my husband and I found out we had in common when we met, and in fact we had that song as our first dance at our wedding. There are lots of little references like this that you'll find yourself thinking "oh yeah, that's just like us" which is nice. Well, hopefully not the demise of the relationship bit lol!
I would recommend this film, and in fact I have recommended it to friends and family who haven't been disappointed. It's one of those rare films that men enjoy as much as women, despite giving the impression it's going to be a bit of a girly film. It's a bit of a thinker more than anything, because we already know the ending from the beginning, and the film is an unusual format to piecing together the parts in between. I can't give this anything less than five stars, even with the lead female's annoying voice!
500 days of summer, one of my favourite films. The story is based on Tom Hansen (Joseph Gordon-Levitt) and his relationship with Summer Finn (Zooey Deschanel). As the quote at the beginning states "this is a story of boy meets girl, but you should know upfront, this is not a love story".
Storyline - I admit, I entered into watching this film in quite a negative frame of mind, I had heard mixed reviews about it and wasn't sure I'd get too involved in the twists and turns of the story. As it turns out I found myself roped in almost instantly to what is an emotional and gripping story. It is very true to real life as opposed to some of the normal romance films where it will all begin happy, have the normal low and then all end in happiness. This certainly doesn't do that but as you follow Tom's story I certainly found myself smiling unwillingly and occasionally feeling hurt. It was if I was living the story myself and it's true to life twists and turns really made it much easier to slip emotionally into the story. The script is amazing with so many memorable quotes!
Characters - The main characters Tom and Summer are played fantastically by the actors. They are very believable and you very quickly learn there personality. This is vital as everything revolves around them and if the characters or acting was poor it would have ruined the film. The supporting cast also don't let the side down with delightful often humorous contributions that add to the tale.
Soundtrack - The soundtrack to this film is fantastic. In fact it is one of the best I have heard. Particularly if you are into music such as sweet disposition by temper trap and The Smiths. I can honestly say I have been stood in the lift at work listening to The Smiths - There is a light that never goes out., and I can confirm that girls don't turn around and say "I love the Smiths" but we can always hope. All of the songs portray the mood of the film at the time and if I hear them I instantly think of the moment it appears in the film.
Special Effects - This isn't an action film but the special effects in this film are quite arty as opposed to the usual explosions etc in action films. Whilst they won't blow you away they are good and play a part in the film.
Value for Money - This film can be picked up very cheaply now in special offers etc. and I would certainly recommend it, I would recommend it at full price but considering it can cost just a few pound (dollars if you are US) then I would really get it. I have watched it so many times but would still watch it again. I love the film, the story and the quotes that can be drawn from it some of which are inspiring or summarise something you may have experienced in your life. I couldn't recommend this enough... As I stated earlier and it states in the film it is not your usual love story.
A quick search on IMDB (the internet movie database) will tell you that this indie film is under the Comedy/Drama/Romance genres, but it probably doesn't fit with what you'd expect from a film of this genre. The film begins with a voice-over, which says "This is a story of boy meets girl, but you should know upfront, this is not a love story".
Instead of the usual chick flick ending where the couple end up together, 'happily ever after', in this story the boy is madly in love with the girl, but she doesn't feel the same way in the end and ends up engaged to someone else.
Starring Zooey Deschanel and Joseph Gordon-Levitt, this feel good film will leave you feeling that anything is possible, and that love is just around the corner.
What made the film so brilliant for me personally, was not the actors or the narrative, but the way that it was made. The cinematography and ways of telling the story are so unique and clever here, which makes this film so completely underrated. A fine example of this, is where lead characters Tom and Summer have a fall out and Tom leaves her apartment running down a spiral staircase, such a clever use of showing us his life 'spiralling down'. Another example is where two different shots are shown on the same screen, one is Tom's expectations and the other is reality, so that we can see clearly the differences and his feelings and emotions.
Overall, a brilliant film which in my opinion was the best of the year! Not just a watch for the girls who love a soppy love story as you'd expect, but for everyone!
I'm not a romantic-comedy fan. In fact, I really, genuinely dislike most romcoms as often they're cliche, contrived and with the same basic storyline spat out time and time again with a different eager-to-please actor begging to lay the foundations for an outstanding acting career. I mean, I'm not necessarily too cynical in my opinion of RomComs, take for example classically trained living legends like Patrick Stewart and Sir Ian McKellen (two of my favourite actors in cinema and voice acting) - did either of those ever star in a film where they agonised over how to express their 'true' feelings for a girl they hardly know who tries to shrug them off like a cold?
Why did I even watch this if I hate rom-coms so much I hear you cry? Well, maybe I thought it was a documentary about drought in the Sahel region of Africa or even a strenuous bout of extreme weather conditions faced by Timbuktu in 1900. The reality is that I just did and you must understand, I'm not going to write this review, despite my prior qualms with rom-coms, from an entirely negative perspective so hear me out.
500 Days of Summer tells the story of Tom (Joseph Gordon-Levitt), a hard-working hopeless romantic constantly on the search for a woman to share his life with. Surprise, surprise, in steps Summer Finn (Zooey Deschannel), the new assistant to his boss, the new kid on the block, the non-caring, karaoke-singing, cynic who doesn't believe in love. As you would expect in a romantic comedy, a relationships ensues, however 500 Days of Summer is unusual in that for once it follows on from the point of view of the man, and he is the one doing the chasing. You feminists out there might appreciate this, the realism of it, the fact that Summer isn't a poor damsel in distress waiting for a man to come rescue her. I understood all of these qualities about her and yet throughout the film I found myself increasingly cold towards her. I'm not sure if that is something that was intended, or rather I'm somewhat harsh and unforgiving, but I simply couldn't shake the feeling and till the very end it was Tom in my favour.
The narrative of the film is non-linear, changing time and place frequently and progressing via a slogan at the bottom of the screen which details the number of days since Tom has known Summer. I found the dial an interesting aspect, as with no knowledge of the plot before having watched it, it made me think two things: one, was the timer the lead up until something huge happened, possible a momentous and happy occasion like an engagement, or two was it much more depressing and a timer until their relationship ended. Well it wouldn't be a rom-com without some tragedy! This makes for an interesting feature which helps the plot to evolve in a much more dynamic way which kept me interested.
Despite my constant referrals of the film as a romantic comedy, director Marc Webb described it as more of a "coming of age" story. Which to some extent, I guess I do agree with. It is necessary for those of us like Tom, to realise that if we really are set on finding that 'one' person, than to settle is as ridiculous as it is to right grievance cards when you have a degree as an Architect (a la Tom). Webb puts its excellently in his description of Summer and her shallowness; "Yes, Summer is an immature view of a woman. She's Tom's view of a woman. He doesn't see her complexity and the consequence for him is heartbreak. In Tom's eyes, Summer is perfection, but perfection has no depth. Summer's not a girl, she's a phase."
As I mentioned previously, I did promise to not be all doom and gloom so I shall focus much moreso on the positives. One is the acting of Levitt-Gordon who portrays a feeble, fragile man to a high standard. Deschannel was less successful in my opinion, as she was perhaps too obvious, too dramatic, too much of the 'bitch' character the plot required at times. In reality, the 'real' Summer is probably just someone unsure of themselves, unwilling to hurt another, after all, she did warn Tom from the get go she wasn't looking for a serious relationship. Perhaps I was too harsh on Summer, but I couldn't relate to her, and her later positive meeting with Tom was much too of a stretch for me, it made me still see Tom as though he was full of pathos despite all the positive changes in his life. However it did make sense in the grand scheme of things, in that in reality those who claim 'love does not exist' probably do eat their words.
It is all of these aspects combined that make for a half decent film, one in which I actually sat through, and one that saw me pining for Tom to succeed in his quest for love. Yeah it is cliche, yes it is at times very artificial, but one cannot doubt that the plot is somewhat, although I say this losely, original and the acting (from Gordon-Levitt in particular) is superior to other rom-com stars.
I'd watched Joseph Gordon Levitt and Zooey Deschanel act together within the film Manic, and they made a great acting pair together, so when I saw this trailer, as soon as it came out in the cinema, I went to see it. The film was written by Scott Neustadter and Michael Weber, and directed by Marc Webb, I had never heard of either of these screenwriters or director, and they really impressed me with the first movie I have seen from them. Made in 2009, 500 Days of Summer is a quirky romcom, that isn't actually a love story ( as the opening narrator tells you!).I watched this in the cinema first, and then purchased the DVD in a sale for around £5, and since then it's gone down in price to about £3 online and in stores.
The plotline to the film is almost the same as any romantic comedy, except instead of the girl falling for the boy, the boy falls in love with the girl but she doesn't reciprocate his feelings. It's pretty simple within its plot, as it just revolves around friendship and relationships. While Tom is looking for someone he can spend forever with as he is a romantic, Summer claims that she doesn't believe in love.. While she tries to make things remain casual with him, he desperately tries to get her to feel more. This leads to him trying to keep up a relationship with her throughout the movie, and we see the good poits and the low points of it
The film is shown in a unique way with little banners on the screen stating the day in their relationship, starting at almost the end, and then flicking backwards and forwards throughout the days. This way we see various points in the 500 day romance between Tom and Summer, and makes it much less boring than if they were all in chronological order. Although it can be a bit slow to begin with, at about 20 minutes into it, I found myself really interested in the couple and how their relationship changed.
The acting was great from both Joseph Gordon Levitt and Zoey Deschanel. Tom was portrayed in such a way by Levitt that you couldn't help feeling sorry for him and continously hoping throughout the movie that things would get better for him. This was a great change from the usual movie perspective of a woman falling in love and being sad about it, as this movie actually showed it from a male point of view. The way it shows him continously changing his mind about Summer really made you want to keep watching, as it made you wonder whether it was him or Summer who had to end the relationship. Deschanel plays as her ever quirky self, and playing the role of Summer, you want to hate her for how she makes Tom feel, but you just can't!
The script itself felt realistic in its writing and the scenarios that happened weren't far from truth at all, you could see people having the conversations that they had in real life, and feeling the same way they do. Both of them, probably due to the fact that they are quite good friends, portrayed the funny aspects of the script as well as the romantic parts, and you really felt as if they were in a relationship.
In my opinion, this was a film that those who either love romcoms (even if it claims it isn't from the beginning) or quirky films should watch. As it is shown in different ways from other romcoms, it was much more refreshing and I don't normally watch romcoms, but watched this one the whole way through and have watched it a couple more times since then.
I was recommended this by a male friend of mine who rated it quite highly. I was dubious about whether that was just because of a certain lead female, or whether it was actually any good on the whole. Having seen it for myself, I'll admit that it wasn't the sort of chick flick I had expected, I'm not even sure why I thought it would be, but whilst I found it watchable I also found some aspects irritating.
500 Days Of Summer was produced by 20th Century Fox and directed by Marc Webb (involved mainly in music videos). We're introduced to Tom Hansen (Joseph Gordon-Levitt), a guy who lives in New Jersey but works in LA writing greetings cards. He happens upon a geek-ily beautiful girl, Summer Finn (Zooey Deschanel), unoriginally original and strangely in tune with his own thoughts and interests. It takes him a long time to build up his confidence to speak to her with the help, and interference, from his two friends Paul & McKenzie. But providing the best relationship advice of all, quite comically, was his little sister, Rachel.
Tom's life has been stalling somewhat, with his work at the greetings cards office slowing down and moving nowhere fast. It's Summer that re-inspires him to take a stance, to take a risk and invest in where his dreams really lie: architecture. During their time together, Tom starts to 'come out of his shell' more, so to speak. He starts to flourish, in a way that only young love can do to you. However, with Summer's more 'dysfunctional' views on things, such as that she didn't believe in relationships, or love, the two were poles apart when considering Tom believed in all the romanticised notions of love available.
Unfortunately, things don't go quite to the sickeningly sweet plan, and we see the breakdown of the relationship throughout the film because of the way it time shifts. From the beginning it actually flicks back and forth over the days, showing us snippets of the broken relationship and then going back to the beginning to show the early days when they got on well. They were together for 500 days, hence the title of the film; without giving anything major away, the film thus takes us through those 500 days, both the ups and the eventual downs.
At first I thought this back-and-forth would get rather annoying and confusing, but I actually found it to be add interest and insight in a more manageable way. Whilst the premise itself wasn't anything complex and not all that original, it was done in such a way as to feel quite fresh and thus refreshing to watch.
The cast was reasonably strong with Levitt coming across well as Tom, the broken-hearted young man who found inspiration through Summer. I actually quite liked him in this, and found him to make the film easier to watch. Summer was designed to be the average girl, though I would argue she's still too 'perfect' to be 'average'. To me, she seemed like the kind of girl you love or hate, but she now has this recognised image as being a boys kind of a girl, the type who can get on with one of the guys with her geeky charm. I find this both refreshing (because she's not a blonde bimbo equivalent) and irritating, because at times you get the sense of it being overdone.
By the end of the film I felt as if I got to know the characters quite well and empathised well with them, so they were well-picked for their parts. The cast was very well chosen and the parts were all played very well, making it both a believable and entertaining film. The overall direction was also good, making the film flow well and be easy to follow despite the obvious to and fro of time.
Whilst this was, by the end, quite an emotional drain to watch, it did possess an underlying sense of compassion and hope. Okay, so I'm not one for soppy romantic films, but this doesn't really fit into that genre entirely because you don't get the happily ever after ending. I won't say too much and give it away, but I will say that the film does did draw out both the sad and pessimistic part of me, and the more hopeful, romantic side. Well, I think it did because I remember thinking I'd fallen in love with Tom by the end of it.
There was quite a lot of hype about this film considering I thought it would just be other run of the mill romcom. It was nominated for 2 Golden Globes, and also received 17 other nominations and 9 wins, so it must have done something right.
Overall, this wasn't quite what I had assumed it might be. It was easy enough to watch with some likeability of characters, though it lacked any special 'something' to really make it memorable. It balanced a sense of comical edge and a more serious, sad undertone in way that makes it interesting and absorbing for a night in.
RRP £19.99 but selling on Amazon for £11.95
DVD released 2009, rated Certificate 15
I thoroughly enjoyed this film. It was released a couple of years ago so it is still fresh and up to date.
Okay, it's "boy meets girl and girl doesn't like boy" but it is a good film to watch as it is romantic yet funny at the same time. The acting is superb and both of the main characters give a convincing portrayal of love and lust. I enjoyed the film based on the acting and the one liners that made me laugh throughout the film.
The film seems "all over the place" at times as it goes back and forth to tell the story. Initially I felt a bit confused but I soon got used to the timeline and I ended up looking forward to the next slice of the story!
The soundtrack is also impressive. The song "Sweet Disposition" is played throughout the film at intervals. This song is beautiful and it really does fit in with the film and the story.
I enjoyed the film. It kept me on the edge of my seat throughout and I doubt that anyone could predict the ending. The film is modern, gripping and quite sweet. It's sweet without being sickly.
I would recommend this film to everyone. It may not be to everyone's taste but my other half enjoyed it so the guys will enjoy it too I guess. Would I describe it as a chick flick? Yes, I would.
A fantastic film.
I bought this, a week ago, mainly because it stars Joseph Gordon-Levitt who is fast becoming one of my favourite actors.
The premise whilst fairly simple is one that is also seen fairly rarely. Boy meets Girl, boy falls in love with girl, and girl just doesn't. This film is shown through a series of time jumps, the first scene shows the main character romantic believer in true love Tom, as played by Joesph Gordon-Levitt, just after his girlfriend broke up with him. You are then taken backward in time to the first day they met, jumping forward and back through their story.
It's smart and funny and very well acted. This also has the added bonus of appealing to the romantic comedy fan and the more (shall we say) cynical movie goers alike. There are multiple jumps backwards and forwards throughout the movie which may occasionally make the story seem fragmented in places. However this is actually part of beauty of this movie as the sharp contrasts and recurring themes in different parts of the story give a cohesion to the story. The story is told exclusively from Tom's point of view which does mean that Summer is perhaps a little villanised, but this perspective shifts over the course of the movie as Tom's own perspective changes and matures.
5OO Days Of Summer is, at best, a strange film that covers one guy's 500 day obsession with a girl known as Summer who works in his office at a Greetings Card Company. The film covers all things humourous, quirky and fun that occur in a close relationship between two people but also goes on to examine what happens when love goes unrecipocrated and eventually dissolves away until one person is left with nothing at all but memories. We've all been there guys, fallen for someone who just doesn't quite love you back as much, and this film takes a good, deep look at how one person, a young character named Tom, attempts to deal with such a situation, sometimes well, sometimes badly, and tries to get on with his life whilst still unable to forget and move on.
I really liked this film, which is less of a rom-com and more of a dark comedy with serious overtones at times, but can't quite put my finger on exactly why that is. At times, it IS very funny; at other times bitterly tragic and mostly I think you end up liking this almost despite yourself because, like I said, ultimately we've all been there ~ be us guys OR gals!
Zooey Deschanel is simply amazing and works well in the lead role as the title character, Summer, but kudos must also go to Joesph Gordon-Levitt for his sterling performance as Tom from his shy beginnings when he can hardly talk to Summer and admires her from (not so) afar through to the confident, exurberant character he becomes. This is a story about a journey, Tom's journey, and it is from his viewpoint and through his perspective thast we see much of the events as they unfold; not always in the right order.
If I had one complaint, it is that the film jumps around a little from day 42 of his obsession for example through to day 327 then back to day 43. But ultimately, even this kind of works as we get sneak previews of the way their future relationship will progress. Except it's not a relationship, silly me! Because one of the main concepts of this film is that Summer is a girl who, right from the very start, is perfectly honest about her intentions in that she doesn't really want a boyfriend; she doesn't want a relationship and doesn't belive in love. It is always Tom who wants just that little bit more and, as we discover, that ays just as much about him in the end as it does about Summer.
I loved this film; in fact I think it fair to say I loved it to bits. And is part of that reason because part of me also fell in love with Summer for those 500 days depicted on screen? Probably yes, but also because I could at times see much of myself in Tom and one of the inherently most important things about a rreally good film is that you are able to build a connection!
By the end of this flick, I felt as if I too had experienced 500 Days Of Summer. It is by no means one of the best films I have ever seen but I really got a lot out of watching this film and so that definitely makes this a strong reccomendation from me!
After seeing the trailer back in 2009 when it came out, this is a film I'd wanted to watch for some time. I finally bought it last week and ended up watching it yesterday evening.
The idea the film centres around is pretty simple. It is about the relationship of Tom and Summer, a pair of young twenty-somethings who meet at work one day. He believes in true love, whereas she thinks it's just a fantasy. The film maps out their relationship over 500 days, hopping back and forth out of sequence to unravel their story.
The two protagonists, played by Zooey Deschanel and Joseph Gordon-Levitt were fairly unknown to me, as were most of the supporting cast. There's something about Deschanel that I find very captivating, and I spent a lot of the film trying to think where else I'd seen her, but I'm now putting it down to the fact that she has a likeness to Katy Perry. I thought she played the part of Summer very well. Joseph Gordon-Levitt, as Tom was just right. When he smiled at Summer he looked much younger than his character was supposed to be, just like a love struck, smitten teen would look. He played Tom with a boyish charm about him which made his character seem more vulnerable and unprotected.
After watching the first 10 minutes or so I was really intrigued, and as events are out of sequence, the position of the relationship between Tom and Summer was almost constantly changing. The obvious question was 'What happens after day 500?' and this is what you spend the film waiting to find out. I felt sucked into their relationship and think that most people will connect with how either one or the other of them feels about love.
Storyline aside, I loved the little quirky elements and effects that were used to show different perspectives of the characters and how they viewed events. Another nice touch is the way the film opens with a voice over declaring 'This is not a love story, it's a story about love...' and who continues on to introduce us to the characters. The whole film felt quite retro chic and very trendy, from the way the characters were styled to the sets that were used (barring scenes in Ikea!).
The film is quite music heavy in the way that it is talked about by the characters in addition to being played. Artists featured include The Smiths, Doves, and Black Lips, but for me the stand out song was The Temper Trap's Sweet Disposition. The range encompasses the up and down emotions the characters were going through and as such is quite a diverse mix of upbeat and also slower, more subdued songs.
Definitely a film that I'd watch again. It's four stars from me.
Extras include audio commentary and 'days' that didn't make it to the final film.
Runtime is 95 minutes.
The film is certified 12.
I paid £2.99 on Amazon for the DVD.
From the moment I started watching this movie, I knew that it was going to be good. This is because it is a Fox Searchlight film, which is the same studio that helped bring Juno to the big screen. I wasn't quite sure what to expect from the actors of this film since I am not familiar with any of their previous work. However, I came away feeling that they had done an exceptional job. More than anything, I felt that the music was one of the highlights of the film. From the constant Smiths references to the Hall and Oates-inspired dance number, I felt that this movie, much like our lives can be driven my music.
If you're someone who appreciates independent films, you'll definitely love this movie. I recommend it to anyone who has been in an odd relationship or someone who can appreciate independent and/or alternative music. I feel that this is one of the most underrated films to be released in the last year. It's a great film, and it really showcases the talents of Joseph Gordon-Levitt and Zoey Deschanel, who are two up-and-coming actors in their own respects.
Loads of my friends had said that this was a good film, and different from your typical romantic comedy, a lot more original and less formulaic so I thought that I would give it a go a while ago, and have just re watched it now.
From the start we are told that 'this is not a love story, this is a story about love,' implying that there definitely will be something different from what we might expect. Rather than the typical boy meets girl, they fall in love storyline this film spans the full relationship, showing the break up and what happens afterwards and why it happened.
Tom works for a greetings cards company although we later find out that what he really wanted to do was be an architect but got stuck in the job and never bothered getting out. His life is pretty average until his boss gets a new secretary, called Summer who he pretty much instantly falls in love with and to his surprise they start seeing each other a lot and then become a bit more serious, despite Summer's declaration that she doesn't want anything serious or a boyfriend. Yet Tom still falls totally in love with her. What will happen when their relationship ends, will they get back together?
I really enjoyed this film. Yes, it is a bit quirky and different so it may not be everyone's cup of tea but that was what was good about it, it was quite refreshing when I seem to have seen loads of totally formulaic rom coms lately. The two leads were definitely a good strength of the film, I'd not really seen Zoey Deschanael in anything before but now I'm hoping that she is in more things! They just had really good chemistry, and they also seemed like quite indie flick type actors. It was also quite different because it wasn't told in a linear fashion, it went through significant days from the 500 days of summer, but this wasn't that confusing because each day was shown to us. Something else I loved about the film was its soundtrack, I just loved it all, it had older artists such as The Smiths and then newer ones such as Fiest.
We had this film come through from our Love Film subscription. I think that my daughter had logged in and tweaked the list as this wasn't something myself or my husband would have chosen. However, we decided to watch it on Saturday evening as a family as so this is my review of the dvd.
This 2009 film was written by Scott Neustadter and Michael H Weber and directed by Marc Webb and stars Joseph Gordon-Levitt and Zooey Deschanel both of whom are actors and musicians.
When I first saw the title I presumed it was a rom/com about a relationship during 500 summer days but in fact it is about the 500 days of the on/off relationship of Tom (Joseph Gordon-Levitt) and Summer (Zooey Deschanel). The film is a simple story about their friendship/romance through 500 days but not in a chronological order. It actually starts near the end of the film and then it jumps backwards and forwards through the 500 days to show their relationship at different times. The days are announced by a banner on the screen before each change so it is necessary to pay attention otherwise it can be a bit confusing! Tom meets Summer when she joins the greetings card company where he works and eventually starts going out with her although she tells him that she doesn't believe in true love and only wants things to remain casual between them. Tom accepts this at first but eventually finds it hard that she won't make any commitment towards him and the film explores the feelings Tom has about this - both the highs and the lows and culminates in an ending which is both satisfying but different.
At first I didn't think I was going to like this film, it seemed disjointed and a bit slow to start with. However, as I learned more about the characters I started to enjoy it and felt that it really did empathise with how people feel when they are in the different stages of a relationship - the highs and the lows, the fun times and the disagreements while learning about each other. I am sure we can all remember a relationship that was one-sided and how we felt at that time and so have some sympathy with Tom and his feelings.
I thought that it made a refreshing change that it was Tom who was portrayed as being the one in the relationship who was having a difficult time coming to terms with the fact that Summer wanted their relationship to not be too serious as generally speaking films like this tend to make the female character the one who wants more commitment. I really felt sorry for Tom as he falls in love with Summer and can't understand why she is giving mixed signals - at one moment happy to spend time with him and sharing her thoughts with him, such as when he takes her to his favourite spot overlooking the city with all its interesting buildings (he had been studying to be an architect) and then on another distancing herself from the relationship and reminding him that it is only casual.
Although the film had some serious points to make about love and relationships it also had several comedy moments and Zooey Deschanel showed a talent for playing these comedic moments which had me laughing out loud.
It was amusing that Tom had a couple of male friends who he confided in to some degree about his relationship with Summer but they weren't a lot of help when he was feeling very down about the situation and it was ironic and amusing that it was his adolescent sister who had a much better insight into the situation and how he felt and what he should do about it than either Tom or his friends.
The script is perfect at involving the viewer in the characters lives and feelings and is very real to life - I could imagine the conversations they were having in real life as the film simply depicts the highs and lows of a romantic relationship which may sound boring but is in fact clever, funny and heartbreaking all at the same time.
I had never come across either of these actors before as I don't watch that many films but I was quite impressed by them. They were able to portray the funny moments and the touching moments in a very believable way and they had a genuine chemistry between them that made me believe they were in a relationship.
I have a friend who when we were teenagers and started going out with boys would philosophically put failed relationships down to "experience", it became her mantra and this message comes across in this film in that Tom and Summer learn a lot of things about each other and themselves through their relationship together.
After a shaky start I enjoyed this film because I quite like a film that I can relate to experiences I have had in life and I found the characters and the storyline totally believable. My daughter (16) found the film quirky and different but enjoyed it. My husband, who usually enjoys a rom/com fell asleep after about 20 minutes and said it didn't move forward quickly enough for him in the beginning. I would quite like to watch it again as now that I know what to expect from the format I think I would enjoy the film more.
There are deleted and extended scenes on the DVD
I stumbled upon this film by pure chance. I'd seen the title and assumed it was a horror/slasher type film of that genre and just ignored it without giving it a second glance. It'll soon be consigned to bargain basements and midweek late night showings on budget channels.
How wrong could I have been. What the film actually is is a rom-com with a twist. As the intro tells you, this is not a love story.
A journey of highs and lows, the pains and joys of relationships and the excitement of courtship followed by the melon collie of reality. Ahhh, I could watch this film again and again and again. Gordon-Levitt and Deschanel are outstanding as the indie inspired young twenty-somethings who are entwined in each other before developing a love-hate relationship.
Gordon-Levitt still bares the same cheeky grin of his 3rd Rock From The Sun days but his acting credentials have grown beyond belief. A quite emotional role, he captures it well and produces a very likable performance. It was Deschanel who captures the screen though and is truly captivating as the female lead. It's almost impossible to not fall in love with Summer (her character) even though she is a heart-breaker with a cold heart. Stardom beckons for Deschanel if she wants it.
The film takes the form of Gordon-Levitt looking back on his time Deschanel after their break-up (discussed briefly at the begining of the film) but it's easily forgotten as you work through the events that it's done in a reflective style.
Marc Webb deserves recognition for directing a great movie, the story flows with ease. Characters are built effortlessly and the settings are perfect.
My favourite part of the whole film? The soundtrack. Sheer perfection.
I was never really sure of this movie but heard good things about it and love both the leads, so thought I'd watch it for their acting at the very least, though in the end actually quite enjoyed it!
The cover features Joseph Gordon Levitt wearing a T-shirt with scenes from the movie~ compared to the US version posters and DVD cover, this is definitely not as enticing nor as representative of the plot.
~~~THOUGHTS ON PLOT~~~
Tom Hansen (Joseph Gordon Levitt) believes in true love. Summer Finn (Zooey Deschanel) does not. When Tom meets Summer, it is love at first sight and he feels she is "the one". But Summer is not looking for anything serious. So what happens when they "fall in love"?
500 days of summer tells of the chapter of time in which Summer is in Tom's life. Their supposed romance and heartbreak is revealed through segmented time fragments, jumping from day 1 to day 119 and back again, in a way which takes us on a roller coaster ride through the highs and lows of the couple's relationship.
The first thing to note is the themes this film explores such as fate and true love, expressed through the two characters' opposing viewpoints. This is directed in such an artistic way with the beginning exploring the individuals' upbringing and values using split screen. The clever jumping time frames also add so much to this movie eg. when Tom describes the things he loves about Summer when he's infatuated then when he's heartbroken, describes the exact same things he loved only this time hating them- one of my favourite bits.
Another one of my favourite scenes was their make believe playing in the IKEA store. It was so original and romantic and funny- it probably has been done before but I ain't seen it yet and this is surely to be memorable to me. "There's a Chinese family in out bathroom" LOL.
Another use of camerawork I was really impressed with was the part when Tom meets up with Summer again and they show his expectations and reality and how they vary. The subtlety was sublime and it was never too much to take in- this was perhaps the best bit artistically, and could be a short film in its own right.
This film isn't without its flaws. I found Tom's friends ridiculously annoying and cringe-worthy. Had they been cut from the movie, this would be totally awesome. It also didn't need the profanities and excessive sexual references. Zooey Deschanel and Joseph Gordon Levitt shouting "penis" was enough! My mum was not impressed. XD
So what happens after 500 days? Through their relationship together, Zooey and Tom both discover and learn something new about love. I loved the ending in that it wasn't a typical ending yet somehow it was (I don't want to give it away, you'll understand when you watch it). It just worked for artistic value and leaves the messages of the film wide open to interpretation. Maybe you were distracted by someone you thought was "the one", only to find "the one" right in front of you but you never saw them? Deep right!
Joseph Gordon Levitt- Tom Hansen
Zooey Deschanel- Summer Finn
Joseph Gordon Levitt and Zooey Deschanel both do a fantastic job. I love that Levitt is the lovelorn one and he fits right into it- definitely an upcoming actor to watch. The character of Zooey Deschanel (I LOVE HER VOICE) was a bit annoying as she wasn't very forthcoming with what she wanted but you can't help but like her.
This DVD contains deleted scenes.
"This is not a love story. This is a story about love" stands true. I love the themes this movie explores and the way they leave things at the end to answer the questions they ask. I love the camerawork and direction making the movie progress in an artistic way. The cast are great. But after you watch this movie, you feel something missing. It appears all the elements are here, but it doesn't fulfil you. I can't figure out what it is yet. Can you?