In this quirky romantic comedy about love and fate, a young greeting card author (Joseph Gordon-Levitt) is hopelessly, helplessly in search of the girl of his dreams…and his new co-worker, Summer Finn (Zooey Deschanel), may just be “the one.” But the 500 days of their offbeat relationship reveal (in no particular order) that the road to happiness will also be unpredictable, uncontrollable–and unbelievably funny!
500 Days of Summer is like the American Apparel of movies, in that tries actually hard to be hip–so hard it on occasion evokes an involuntary cringe. The easiest soundtrack (indie-pop infused with cleverly ironic 80’s hits), the smart cinematography, the from time to time broken fourth wall… It’s a natural progression from mid-00’s “youth-culture” flicks like Garden State and it does a good job rounding out the decade. Everything in this dramedy resembles a music video and the characters are twentysomethings once again not living up to their full potential. 500 Days of Summer is touted as being actually unique and original–it’s not. But that’s not to say that it’s not worth watching; it is, and mostly on account of the leads. Joseph Gordon-Levitt and Zooey Deschanel play a couple whose relationship story is told through a series of out-of-order flashbacks. The non-linear storytelling means we hop moment to moment from sweet, romantic and fun to crushingly desperate and sad, because the ultimate point here is that even when we imagine we may have found The One, said soulmate might not feel the same way.
Gordon-Levitt is an exciting actor to watch and after a succession of very serious, very troubled roles, it’s a pleasure to see him here as a mostly well-adjusted young guy whose biggest problem is that he loves someone who doesn’t love him back. He’s the hero, and as such, Deschanel’s Summer Finn becomes the bad guy a little bit. But Deschanel plays it all big-eyed, conflicted and real and so you’ll’t help but forgive her. The much-lauded musical scene is tremendously joyful; if it doesn’t put a smile on your face, nothing will. 500 Days of Summer isn’t groundbreaking, but it’s an entertaining movie about hip, beautiful people whose lives you’ll only enjoy for about two hours before getting back to your own. —Kira Canny
Stills from (500) Days of Summer (Click for larger image)