(500) Days of Summer
Run-time: 1 hour, 35 minutes
Directed by: Marc Webb
Starring: Joseph Gordon-Levitt & Zooey Deschanel
When I first heard about (500) Days of Summer, I can't even begin to tell you about my level of excitement. The reuniting of Gordon-Levitt and Deschanel was a matter of cosmic significance in my life. I had seen their first collaboration - an 2001 independent drama titled Manic (which ranks as the second greatest film I have ever seen) - about a year before, and I had fallen in love with the both of them. So having them star in a romantic comedy together was almost too much for me to fathom. I had high expectations, but nothing could prepare me for the brilliance that was about to unfold in front of my eyes the moment I set foot in the theater.
The best way that I can describe this film is to say that it's a romantic comedy that can appeal to men. As we all know, the rom-com genre generally targets the female population, as it well should. Women are the ones who are usually drawn into the sappy love stories because they're usually centered around the woman's perspective. (500) Days of Summer, however, does the opposite. It provides a look at two people's relationship from Tom's (Gordon-Levitt) perspective, and it does so without ever giving an in-depth look at Summer's (Deschanel) side of the story.
The film works for a number of reasons. I have to start by mentioning the chemistry between our two leads. They're so comfortable with each other that they're every move on-screen seems completely natural. Their relationship is entirely believable as a result. Secondly, a lot of credit should be given screenwriters Michael H. Weber and Scott Neustadter. They crafted a non-linear storyline that cuts deep into the psyche of a man in love. They created a character so real and so fresh in Tom that I have yet to find a guy who couldn't relate to him. Thirdly, the soundtrack is utterly fantastic. With songs from the likes of Regina Spektor, The Smiths, and Hall & Oates, you can imagine the type of feel the film has.
Ultimately, this is a movie that I can relate to immensely. Whenever I watch the film, I can't help but see the similarities between Tom's relationships and my own. I have a deep connection to the character because I've been in his position and have felt exactly what he's felt. It's a very personal film to me, and it's very close to my heart. That connection may bias my view of the film - I personally think it's a masterpiece that stands as the twenty-seventh greatest film I've ever seen - but in this case, I don't really care. I love (500) Days of Summer, and I have no qualms about admitting it. I've found that the guys I know tend to enjoy it more than the girls I know, but as with every movie, it comes down to personal opinion. Still, I think you should give it a shot.