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500 Days of Summer Review

500days So, last Friday I asked the Internet to send me to the movies. I tossed out a couple choices to decide between, and I saw the movie the majority of you voted for. 500 Days of Summer won, hands down, no contest.

Here's what I thought. (Spoilers after the jump.)

The movie opens with a boy (Joseph Gordon-Levitt, who was perfectly cast, although I wasn't so sure when I first saw a preview) and girl (Zooey Deschanel, who is always perfectly cast in anything she does and this was no exception) sitting on a bench, hand-in-hand, noticeable engagement ring on girl's hand. 

The voice-over warns the audience right away that this is a story of boy meets girl but it is most definitely not a love story. 

Right away I think, "That ring isn't his."

(Hmm.)

It's such a creatively made movie with a killer awesome soundtrack. The movie jumps around from day 1, when Tom Hayden (boy) spots Summer Finn (girl) in an office meeting on her first day on the job at the greeting card company Tom has worked at (and hated) for years. He falls instantly, but she's a free spirit not looking to be tied down (so she tells him in a karaoke bar during an office happy hour). But she likes him, she thinks he's interesting, she gives him a chance.

The rest of the movie is heartbreaking, heartwarming and funny. We see them on dates and we see them break up, but we see it all in non-consequential order, so there aren't too many surprises. We know it's going to end from the beginning and where every other movie would lead up to their reunion, this movie (thank god) does not. It's perfect exactly as it is.

Toward the end, as Tom is still nursing a broken heart from Summer's rejection of him earlier in the film, they're both invited to a co-worker's wedding, and they have a great time together. They dance, they laugh, she invites him to a dinner party and then she falls asleep on his shoulder during the train ride home. He shows up at the party, with a really creative split screen of his expectations of the night and the reality of what happens. The expectation side leads to them falling into each other's arms; reality leads to him seeing the (NOT HIS!) engagement right being shown off to party goers. He runs out of the apartment, heartbroken. Again.

One of my only complaints about this movie is that she invites her (obviously still in-love with her) ex-boyfriend to a party she's obviously throwing with her new love (her new FIANCE), and she doesn't give him a slight heads up. I kept saying, "OH, SHE SHOULD HAVE TOLD HIM, SHE SHOULD HAVE TOLD HIM." And she really should have. He even mentions that later in the movie. But, STILL. SHE SO SHOULD HAVE TOLD HIM.

The last scene between Tom and Summer finds them in their old favorite spot, in a Los Angeles park. Tom is sitting on one bench and Summer is randomly on another. She comes over to him, and he awkwardly congratulates her. After a little while he asks why she got married when she so obviously didn't want to be tied down while they were dating. She never wanted to be married, she had always told Tom. So ... what happened? And, she basically tells him what we all know: she didn't want to get married until she met someone she wanted to be married to. She sums up the entire premise of (the horribly horrible) "He's Just Not That Into You" much more eloquently and hopeful: she knew with her husband what she never knew with Tom or anyone else. That's how love goes. You don't want something until you do. You don't want forever with someone until you find the right someone.

Tom ends the movie at an interview for a new job and sitting across from him is a beautiful girl, interviewing for the same position. (It's LYLA! Or Minka Kelly, whatever.) They quip back and forth and then, finally, he asks her out and wouldn't you know, her name is Autumn. Cue Day 1. 

The movie is all very bittersweet, it's subtly hopeful, it's realistic and lovely. He fell in love. She didn't. I still found it to be a pretty fantastic love story, despite what the voice-over warned at the beginning.

It was slightly short (I know! Who wants a movie to be longer!?), but that would be my only other complaint.

I loved it, and I'd highly recommend it. 

(New "pick my movie night!" installment next week, when my babysitter is on duty again.)







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Comments

Emily

I agree, the movie is so realistic and heartfelt!

My favorite part is when Tom's young sister urges him to revisit memories of Summer so he'll see that things weren't as perfect as he's made them out to be. The subtle changes and slight shifts away from perfect to realistic... My heart still aches just thinking about it. I know I'm entirely guilty of idealizing the past, specifically when it comes to exes.

I can't recall another movie that so accurately depicts the sad reality that sometimes a person is "the one" to you, but you're just someone to them.

For more 500 Days of Summer fun: http://popwatch.ew.com/2009/08/06/zooey-deschanel-video-500-days/

Jennie

Emily, completely and totally agree. They showed how it can be while still being funny and lovely and sweet.


Just Shireen

I saw 500 Days last weekend and I couldn't stop smiling. The movie was everything I wanted it to be and more (ignore the ridiculous cheesiness of that and concentrate on the fact that it's true!). Love this movie. Will see it again.

Have you seen the music video they made together to one of Zooey's song? http://tinyurl.com/kp27bc

I could definitely stand to have more Joseph Gordon-Levitt in my life.

Jennie

I never thought much of anything at all for Joseph Gordon-Levitt, but this movie changed all that. Most definitely.


lovesfool

I loved this movie as well. I saw it with very low expectations and I came out WOWED! I bought the soundtrack the next day and I've probably listened to it 100 times.

Great post!

Jennie

Thank you.


iambellaluna

I so want to see this even more now! Aaaaand, I loves Zooey. Her voice is beautiful : )

Gray Matter

You know when you go to a weekend matinee on a perfectly lovely day for a movie you know nothing about? Or is it just that I'm a total loser. Well I could not have loved this movie more. And it brought out every last molecule of Cougar in me, because am harboring a serious crush on JGL.

The smitten look he wears throughout the happy parts of the movie made me melt. This movie was original, adorable, and I may just be willing to go back for a second showing with my husband.

HomeValley

I am deeply suspect of Zooey since The Happening. Have you seen? It's is really, truly awful.

But will definitely Netflix this one!

Jennie

God, you're right. That movie was awful and I forgot she was in it,
admittedly. Apparently my love for her wants to forget she would ever do
something so crappy.




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