(500) Days Of Summer
Director: Marc Webb.
Screenplay: Scott Neustadter, Michael H. Weber
Starring: Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Zooey Deschanel, Geoffrey Arend, Chloë Grace Moretz, Matthew Gray Gubler, Clark Gregg, Rachel Boston, Minka Kelly.
“No! Don’t pull that with me. This is not how you treat your friend! Kissing in the copy room? Holding hands in IKEA? Shower sex? Come on! Friends my balls!”
Before he was given big bucks and entrusted with reinventing the franchise of “The Amazing Spider-Man“, director Marc Webb cut his directorial teeth on this highly appealing and (un)romantic-comedy. For a debut it’s very impressively handled and brings a fresh approach to the tired old boy-meets-girl formula.
Tom Hansen (Joseph Gordon-Levitt) could be an architect but finds himself working for a greeting card company in New Jersey. It’s here that he meets Summer (Zooey Deschanel) and believes she could be the girl of his dreams. Summer isn’t interested in having a boyfriend but they soon become an item regardless. However, things don’t quite work out the way Tom planned as he recounts the 500 days that led to their break-up and where it all went wrong.
I have to take this moment to remind people never to judge a film by it’s poster. I’m sure many of you don’t make this mistake very often but Marc Webb’s “(500) Days of Summer” is a film that fell prey to my judgement purely by it’s poster and it exuding the appearance of just another romantic-comedy. Categorically, I avoid these types of films. I even overlooked the fact that it had two exceptionally talented leads in Joseph Gordon-Levitt and Zooey Deschanel. Much to my surprise then, that within minutes of the film starting I was informed by the narration that “This is a story of boy meets girl, but you should know upfront, this is not a love story“. I was hooked. From the offset I admired the film’s chutzpah and my perseverance and attention were greatly rewarded. This narration wasn’t entirely true as it is still a love story but it’s done out with the realms of convention and that “love story” really only concerns one half of the relationship. Where the film finds it’s appeal is in it’s non-linear structure and it’s ability to effortlessly flit back and forth in time, giving you an inside look at the whole anatomy of a relationship. In doing so, it provides a fabulous vehicle for Gordon-Levitt to show a wide range of emotions; one minute he’s elated and dancing through the streets, the next he miserable and buying twinky’s and Jack Daniels for breakfast. It’s this disjointed approach that brings a stylish originality and quirky, off-beat, sense of humour that’s impossible to resist.
With a sharp script, two very appealing central performances, a well judged balance of emotions and excellent and well placed song choices, there’s not much more you can ask for when it comes to this genre. I’m hoping that with the likes of this, “Ruby Sparks” and “Silver Linings Playbook” that the rom-com is taking itself a little more seriously now. These films have so much originality that they could spare some to the tiresome dross that mainly features Jennifer Aniston or Kate Hudson.
Trivia: Around the time of the movie’s release, director Marc Webb shot a short video for the Internet, which featured Zooey Deschanel as Sid Vicious and Joseph Gordon-Levitt as Nancy Spungen, in reference to a conversation in this movie.