Monday, August 17, 2009

Movie Review: 500 Days of Summer



I've been waiting five months for this movie to come out, so I was a bit pissed off when it wasn't showing at any theaters around me over the last few weeks. Then, while at the theater with XL on Sunday to see another film, I saw that it had arrived. So today I took advantage of the fact that I am funemployed and I went to see it. Alone. That's right, I was the only person in the theater. I guess that doesn't bode well for the movie's success.

I, for one, thought it was a really great movie. And that's not because it stars one of my biggest Hollywood crushes either, although that doesn't hurt. Right off the bat you find out that "this is not a love story. This is a story about falling in love" which leads you to understand that Tom and Summer probably don't end up together in the end. Also leading you to think this is the fact that Summer (Zooey Dechanel) tells Tom (Joseph Gordon-Levitt) right off the bat that she isn't looking for a relationship.

The movie shuttles back and forth throughout the titular 500 days to tell the story of the rise and fall of Summer and Tom. In this case, it is the journey, not the destination that matters. As such, you still feel a sense of completion on the 500th day, even though it was quite clear what was coming all along. As an added bonus, we get a brief, albeit satisfying, look into what happens for Tom after his last day of Summer.

The third star of the film is the pop culture subtext that is constantly running in and out of the storyline. There are references to TV, film and music that are both shared between the characters and presented to the audience through production methods to further paint the picture. Even though the "indie vibe" is awfully strong, the movie comes by it honestly and benefits from it in the end. All in all it is a great story told by talented actors all rapped up in an enjoyable presentation.
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