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(500) Days of Summer (2009)

July 21, 2009

VERDICT:
9/10 Love Pangs

The best romantic comedy I’ve seen since Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind.

(500) Days of Summer is about a hopelessly romantic guy who falls head-over-heels in love when Summer, the girl of his dreams that’s convinced there’s no such thing as “love”, walks into his life and eventually breaks his heart. Simple enough, but like many a relationship, things get complicated.

The fitting tagline on the poster is that “This is not a love story. This is a story about love.” And, hot damn, is that a good way to put it. You know right off the bat that things don’t exactly work out for the two in the long run, but that’s just another reason why it works.

It’s beyond me how many formulaic romantic comedies get churned out every year that have nothing new to say about love and relationships, and even the ones that do have something new to say, they just don’t know how to say it (sorry He’s Just Not That Into You, but you’ve been called out).

So along comes comes (500) Days of Summer, a movie with a catchy title, a great trailer, a director I’ve never heard of, the girl from Elf, and the kid from Third Rock From the Sun. It might not make for the romantic blockbuster of the Summer, but looking back, I couldn’t imagine a better combination.

Now, I’m a huge fan of Joseph Gordon-Levitt, have been for a while now. He’s a great actor who’s done some kick-ass movies (Brick and The Lookout – go see ’em), and this movie is just reinforces my belief that he’s gonna be a household name one of these days, just you wait. And while I haven’t seen Zooey Deschanel in too many things, she’s nothing short of charming and a great choice for the part.

But one of the best things about casting Joe and Zo (we’re cool like that) is that they’re good looking, but they’re not supermodels. Having characters that look like you and me adds a degree of credibility to the whole experience in a way that, say, Benjamin Button doesn’t. Makes it easier to compare to your own life because, let’s face it, we’re not all Brangelinas.

It’s also a fantastic movie to watch from a visual standpoint. The best way to describe Marc Webb’s direction here is that he takes every emotion his characters are feeling, internally or externally, and puts in on screen like a fantasy come to life. Example: you walk out of your apartment the morning after bedding the girl of your dreams for the first time and everyone on the street is cheering for you, there’s a parade in your honor, and you’re hitting home runs while cartoon birds perch on your shoulder.

That totally happened to me.

Look, I’ve been anxious to see this movie for a while now and I couldn’t have been happier with how my hour and a half was spent. Isn’t it just great to find yourself in a theater grinning from ear to ear for lengths at a time?

It’s also just refreshing to watch movies that don’t tie everything up in a neat little bow for the audience. The fact of the matter is that even though people might hope and work for the ideal in relationship, things don’t always play out like we expect them to. The script is nothing but genuine and it doesn’t sugarcoat the good times or the bad times, but when all is said and done, you can’t help but smile.

So go on Fandango and buy a ticket for your significant other, man up and finally ask that girl out on a movie date, or just find a stranger on the street you think is lookin’ good and go see (500) Days of Summer. Got a smile on my face just thinking about it.

Oh, awesome soundtrack, too. Can’t forget about the awesome soundtrack.

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4 Comments leave one →
  1. August 14, 2009 12:59 pm

    I totally agree with that opening statement although this is more original. This is not just the best all year its probably the best romantic comedy. Its so true and proves a point where many other films don’t. Love isn’t what we expect it to be, and this film shows that. Best film of the year and best romantic comedy of all-time.

  2. December 23, 2009 11:34 pm

    Just seen it on DVD and couldn’t agree more with your review. This movie shows the rom-com genre is not completely dead yet. Only thing I had a complaint about was this well-worn cliche of the dude asking relationship advice from his 10 year-old (or whatever she was) sister. GRRRR

Trackbacks

  1. The Top 10 « Cut The Crap Movie Reviews
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