"People don't realize this, but loneliness is underrated"
As soon as he saw Summer (Deschanel) he knew that she was the one. Tom (Gordon-Levitt) had been waiting all of his life to meet a girl like Summer and as she started in his office as the boss’s assistant, he played it smooth and gradually got to know her. Even when they did get close and she said that she didn’t want a relationship and only wanted to be friends, Tom knew in his heart that he could win her around but over the five hundred days that he knew her, Tom and Summer’s relationship became a roller coaster ride of emotions.
It is very easy for a genre to become stale and predictable and romantic comedies have become just than but then a film comes along that restores your faith in the genre and in filmmaking itself and that film is ‘(500) Days of Summer’.
If there is one genre that has become very stale and predictable is it the romantic comedy. Hollywood has been churning out the same theme for decades and viewers have entered the theatre knew exactly what they were going to get. With themes of ‘boy meets girl’, ‘girl meets boy’, ‘boy hates girl’, ‘girl hates boy’, ‘boy loves girl’, ‘girl loves boy’ and they all live happily ever after, cinema viewers knew what they were about see, even before they took their seat. Even the slightest injection of originality into this increasingly stale genre is a welcome one and is greeted with great aplomb, as it was with films like ‘Shaun of the Dead’, so a movie like ‘(500) Days of Summer’ with its slight twist on its look at modern relationships is very, very refreshing.
This is the story of two young people. One is longing to fine their soul mate, the one who is going to complete them and prove that love does actually exist. This is the one with the circle of supportive friends when things don’t go to plan and a knowledgeable sister who offers advice on the ways of the world. The other is a person who is not looking for commitment, who wants to enjoy life and have a friendship with extra benefits but with no strings attached. While this is nothing new in the romantic comedy genre, the slight twist is that it is the male character that is looking for commitment and the female character who just wants the fun. This turnaround might not be the most original twist but it is how this plotline is played out over the duration of five hundred days and the visual and stylist approach that makes ‘(500) Days of Summer’ all the more appealing.
The boy is called Tom and played by Joseph Gordon-Levitt. He is the one seeing his relationship with his dream girl through rose coloured glasses. For him, Summer is the one and no one can tell him any different and it is through him that we follow his tempestuous five hundred days with her. This is a role made for Gordon-Levitt, who career since leaving the hit TV show ‘Third Rock from the Sun’ has seen him appear in some challenging and extremely good independent movies, with ‘Brick’ showing how talented he really is and as Tom he gets to show this again. The jury has always been out on his co-star Zooey Deschanel. She is also an Indie darling and there is something that instantly draws men to her, making her perfect for the role of Summer. The problem is that she essentially plays the same part in most of her movies, an enigma who draw men to her, makes them obsess over her and then moves on. As Summer, she is perfect for this however, as you can see why Tom would become so obsessed with and she would be the girl who would use men in this way. There is also good support from Geoffrey Arend and Matthew Gray Gubler as Tom’s best friends McKenzie and Paul and Chloe Moretz as Tom’s very wise in the ways of the world sister Rachel.
Moving from advertisement direction into feature films is nothing new and has given us such distinguished directors as David Fincher, Spike Jonze, Tony Scott, Michel Gondry, Duncan Jones and the great Ridley Scott. Each of these men at the helm have one thing in come, an eye for visual flair and the same can be said for Marc Webb. The film is beautifully shot and made, mixing animation, voice-over, montages, an excellent soundtrack and even a song and dance number to make the film feel fresh.
‘(500) Days of Summer’ is one of those rare movies that comes along every now and again and reignites a genre. Just as you thought that love stories couldn’t get any more formulaic, cinema can surprise and Marc Webb’s movie does just that. A joy and a fantastic look at the modern relationship, ‘(500) Days of Summer’ is bound to become a cult classic and a fine example of the genre for the 00s.
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