Newest Review: ... 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 gi... more
"Every day you make me proud, but today you get a card"
(500) Days of Summer (DVD)
Member Name: Holland1
(500) Days of Summer (DVD)
Advantages: Unusual format, engaging, nice references, humorous, good relationship observations
Disadvantages: None for me
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!
Summary: Fantastic film