(500) Days of Summer (2009) Review

If this is the direction that the romantic comedy genre is heading in . . . then I LOVE IT. Yes, I was very impressed with this film and found it funny, romantic, heartbreaking and just brilliant all rolled into one. Yes it was different and not a traditional Hollywood romance and falling in love. I think that it captured more what happens in the real world nowadays.  From seeing the trailer’s of this film I thought I seemed very much like Summer (Zooey Deschanel) but after seeing the movie I am only like her in certain parts.

Tom (Joseph Gordon-Levitt) fell in love with Summer pretty much straight away. Which is already the start of what seems to be role reversal as its more often seen as the female who falls for a man straight away, so this set the tone that this was not going to be your normal “love” story. But I suppose it was good to see it from the other way around. How a guy acts if he is in love with a girl who does not feel the same way back.

So the film flips backwards and forwards through the relationship back to day 1 then forward to towards the end. Showing why he is sad at a certain song or event because it meant something more than 200 days previous to that. So it was very much going from early days to later days and I found this to be a very good way to do the story. Because while in the first few weeks or even months everything just seems fantastic and so nice but when you hit the later days those same things you may have found cute or loved about the person, now in the later days you hate those very things that you once loved about them.

I had heard that this was going to be a different type of romantic comedy and as I said above if this is the direction rom-com is going in then that really is great. Seeing a guy being totally in love with a girl who does not love him back is totally a shift in power in terms of movies as not many at all have the man being the one who as fallen it is usually the other way round.

Performance wise I was very impressed with both Joseph Gordon-Levitt (who I have to admit had only seen in “10 Things I Hate About You”) and Zooey Deschanel (who I watched in “The Happening” a few days before) as they really created character’s who were both believableand likeable which is not something that is usually done at the same time in films. But I felt sorry for Tom and thought he deserved better, or did he? Maybe he just did not understand that Summer did not want anything from him other than sex. She always did make it clear that it was not a relationship and she not want it to be a relationship now or ever. I think that’s possibly a problem with some situation the old saying of can a guy and a girl be friends without one of them feeling something? Maybe that was the case in this story and is the case for million of people around the world. But obviously Tom and Summer did cross the friend only line, and did act more like a couple than just friends who had sex. Hence Tom getting very confused and Summer getting kinda claustrophobic as Tom wanted to label her his girlfriend.

I found this film to raise many very interesting questions which you have possibly wondered the answer to on many occasions in your own life when you have been confused if someone is a friend or more, or even if either of you want more out of the friendship. This has to happen so much, I am sure it has happened to myself on a few occasions. But once you cross over the friend only line, can you ever really go back? Maybe but I guess as in Tom’s case it depends if you were the one who fell for the other person. I think it can only work if neither of you actually fall for each other (or admit it to the other person) that it can therefore go back to “normal” or the way it was before.

The ending of the film was not really a surpriseafter lets say the first five minutes or something like that but it was not really predictable on how they got to that point. When Tom was at the interview at the end and met Autumn was particularly amusing because my friend had just said imagine if she was called Autumn so that was us totally hysterically laughing. Then the counter starting again at 1 . . . but this time would that counter end for Tom? Or did he find the one . . . I guess that is up to the audience to decide unless a movie called (500) Days of Autumn is announced.

15 thoughts on “(500) Days of Summer (2009) Review

  1. I went to see this yesterday and have been pondering how or if I would review it. I really enjoyed but not sure how to express that without giving so much away. I started writing a reply that got so long I may as well just post it as a review! Two things worth mentioning: (1) You mentioned you have only seen Joseph Gordon-Levitt in 10 Things I Hate About You; you should check out Brick. (2) I know you weren’t being serious but, Please, please, please they can not make (500) Days of Autumn. This film needs to stand on its own and cashing in on a sequel would be tragic.

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  2. I’ve been working on this review since I saw the film on Friday, it was a lot harder to do than I thought it would be.

    Thanks for the recomendation of Brick, I will try to check it out.

    Yeah it would be tragic if they decided to do that, but you know what its like these days. A box office hit or even small hit in comparison of how much the movie cost often gets a sequel. But I am on the same thought that it has to stand on its on. Inspiring similar types of movies wouldnt be a bad thing though.

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  3. Great review!

    Count me as another person who highly recommends giving BRICK a look-see.

    I really loved this movies too, one of the best of the year in my eyes actually. I dug that To really manages to do this to himself, since Summer warns him from the get-go that she isn’t the ‘girlfriend’ type. Seems like some voice inside Tom’s head says “Well that’s because she hasn’t met a guy like me yet…I bet I can change her mind!”.

    That probably happens an awful lot in the real world, no?

    PS – case you’re curious this is what I thought.

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  4. Yeah I totally agree with that, yeah thinking you can change someone or make them love you, when they just don’t feel that way about you.

    I think so far this is my favorite of the year, as while by the trailer’s I thought it looked good. I wasnt really expecting to like it as much as I did.

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  5. I got home and spent an hour turning what I was going to reply to your review into my review (sort of). I don’t think it is my most coherent post ever! Maybe I should have just posted a link to you and Mad Hatter!

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  6. I loved this movie right up until the end. I won’t say anymore, lest I ruin “(500) Days of Summer.” But the movie got so many things right — the bittersweet tone, the little quirks that we start out loving and end up hating, the way we never remember relationships in order. Marc Webb has a great career ahead of him, and so does Joseph Gordon-Levitt.

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