film review: (500) Days of Summer (2009)

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500 Days of SummerSaw this one courtesy of Phantom 105.2 Thanks guys!

(500) Days of Summer is essentially a love story. I know it says it isn’t, but it is. It may be a quirky indie love story, but it’s still a love story. I wouldn’t let that put you off though; that is, if you are the kind of person who is put off by love stories. Personally I’m not but off by the idea but that’s because I like a good weepy film… this isn’t actually one of those but it still has plenty to recommend it.

First up is Joeeph Gordon-Levitt; who I suspect will be known as “that kid from 3rd Rock from the Sun” long after the kids who’ve never heard of 3rd Rock from the Sun grow up. I’d like it if he were known as “that guy from Brick” but that’s not going to happen. Brick, by the way, is a great film but to be honest, it’s not for everyone…

Anyway… the last film I saw with Mr. Gordon-Levitt was Stop-Loss. I thought he could have done better in that one, it was ok but it was no great shakes, fortunately that isn’t the case with this one. I do think he puts on a strong performance as the lead in this, he’s likeable as Tom Hansen and not too whiny, which could have been a risk with another actor in this part.

Zooey Deschanel performs ably in her role as well. Summer Finn not as well-developed a character – it wouldn’t be, since the story is told through Tom’s eyes really – but with a weaker actress it would have been easy for the character to just hang there as a cold bitch and I don’t think this was the case.

The supporting characters all worked for me too… in particular there was a line from Matthew Gray Gubler‘s character that I really liked. I won’t quote it here but if you can guess which one is was (I think it’s obvious anyway) then comment, I’m just wondering if it stood out to other people as well…

The only problem with me saying that I liked the characters is that (500) Days of Summer is undoubtedly one of those films which will be seen differently through different eyes. It’s about a relationship and everyone’s lives are coloured by different relationships, good, bad and indifferent. I can’t imagine it will be possible for anyone to watch this without relating to it somehow, even if the feeling is a thanks that you’re not anything like any of them.

Through my eyes it was a cute story about a mis-matching of emotions, an amusing look at a modern relationship. I liked how it was all told in a very genuine way, after all, it’s a story that’s been played out a thousand times in real life and on the silver screen and for once it was nice to see the two tellings match. Funnily enough I found myself wishing that Tom was someone I knew, just so I could give him advice like all the other characters… but then again that might just be because I’m nosy.

So, (500) Days of Summer is definitely a film worth seeing if you’re in the mood for that kind of thing; but it really is a film you have to be in the mood for. If you fancy seeing The Final Destination or Inglourious Basterds then don’t go see this just because they’re sold out… on the other hand if you were thinking about The Time Traveller’s Wife then this might be a good alternative.

7.5/10 – but like I said on twitter, I’d like to see it again to be sure it wasn’t too clich├ęd. I’m not sure I was entirely focused on it and I’d like to have been, who knows? Maybe it was better than 7.5/10…

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