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(500) Days of Summer

A 2009 romantic comedy film starring Joseph Gordon-Levitt and Zooey Deschanel

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4 stars: Love is a tough thing when you don't know why it ends

  • Sep 24, 2010


No one really quite knows the exact reasons why there relationship ends or how it ended in the first place or why it came to end the way it did. All we know is that the relationship is over and there is nothing we can do about it they have moved on so should we however, that is sometimes easier said that done. Tom Hansen (Joseph Gordon-Levitt)   knows this all too well as h e has just broken up with his loveless, girlfriend Summer Finn (Zooey Deschanel). He is wreck after there break-up  he has lost his kind nature  and feels disjointed and lost in the world like he  has had his heart ripped out and had her do the Mexican hat dance all over it. Tom is depressed and lonely but thanks to his friends (Geoffrey Arend and Matthew Gray Gubler) and an extraordinarily smart little girl who seems to be an expert on relationships (Chloe Moretz). Tom looks back on the 500 days of his relationship with Summer trying to find out what went wrong and what he could have done differently if he only had a second chance.





There is a scene of dialogue that opens this film stating, "This is not a love story, this is a story about love" and that is the entire basis for this film story. This is not a love story a love story is where you see a sequences of events and happenings that lead two people to find one another. Then in a big mush climax they admit there love for one another  while the poignant and very sappy music plays in the background  while the girl finally finds her knight in shining armor or the boy finally finds his princess. It is a tried and rundown formula that has plagued the romance genre for the last 30 years,  now here we are  in the 21st century and we still get these sappy and at some points very cringe inducing conclusions to these cliché love stories that makes audiences scoff, scoff because they have seen it hundreds thousands of times before. "(500) Days of Summer” does not suffer from those worn out clichés It instead does something daring, something that few romantic comedies would never dare to do  it takes a wholly  original story, premise, plot and an excellent and highly intelligent script and puts them together to form one of the greatest romantic comedies ever made. Trust me when I say this I never have said that about a movie from this genre I am proud to say that "(500) Days of Summer" is the romantic comedy I have been waiting for all my movie watching days. Better yet, it is the film I had really no idea I was waiting for. "(500)" Days of Summer" is a glorious film a beautiful that exemplifies the nature of love with all its high and its lows. This is a beautiful film, a touching film; a film that never seems to lie to you as if most romantic comedies do. Its straightforward and honest which is  surprising  at times due to the fact that most films of this sub-genre are never honest about love  they lie to the audience about what love really is and try with all there might to make  us believe  that the two arguing bickering sorely mismatched couple we are suppose to believe are in love with each are actually right for each other  case in point being "Sleepless in Seattle"(Meg Ryan plays a woman who stalks Tom Hanks because she thinks he is the one after hearing him on a radio talk show), "The Ugly Truth"(Katherine Hiegl plays an annoying control freak daytime talk show  producer who clashes with a chauvinistic talks show host play by Gerard Butler).  "(500) Days of Summer" is the answer to this sub-genres prayers and to moviegoers prayers  its a real romantic comedy that forgoes all the idiotic ways previous and far less impressive films have tried to pull off "(500) Days of Summer" does without a hitch and makes seeing the ways of love onscreen enjoyable once again.



"(500) Days of Summer" is a beautiful film  not only works as an effective romantic comedy but also as an absorbing drama and character study of theses intriguing people and I don't just mean the main characters. The supporting characters are also intriguing as well Particularly Chloe Moretz as the kid psychiatrist who helps Tom sort out his troubled past with Summer. This film is fresh, original and hip not because it has an original story but because  it takes it time to develop its group of very diverse characters and at sometimes strange imagination scenes when Tom just drifts off into his own dream world. in one instance in particular  when Tom finally admits he is in love with Summer  he goes outside and engages in an 80's styled  dance sequences to Hall & Oates "You make my dreams come true" its a fantastic sequence  that shows Tom's love(at the time) for his new girlfriend Summer and also establishes  the film's tone and mood throughout. Director Marc Webb's bright, clever, funny, touching offbeat  look at love is a film that not only defines expectations it leaves the audience feeling all warm and fuzzy on the inside making you leave this movie with a smile on your face.




Joseph Gordon-Levitt is one of my all time favorite actors he is one of the very few actors today who is still interested in masking good films instead of just making movies to get a paycheck. Levitt never cops out  he stands his ground and stars in films that matter and actually have merit to them much like Rian Johnson's  "BRICK"(2005), Scott Frank's   "The LOOKOUT"(2007), Christopher Nolan's "Inception"(2010)  and Marc Webb's "(500) Days of Summer". Over the course of a decade Levitt has amassed a very respectable and admirable line of work, grant it some of his films are not that admirable, but Levitt is one of the few remaining actors who never gives into the Hollywood mold and strives to make movies that he feels are worth his time. In Marc Webb's "(500) Days of Summer" Levitt turns in what can possible be called the best and most honest performance of his career as hopeless romantic Tom Hansen. Levitt is honest, caring, and straightforward   and his character Tom believes in love with all his heart and soul while his newfound love Summer Finn (Zooey Deschanel) thinks love is for kids and thinks Tom is naive for thinking that love has any place in this rational world. Levitt does not play Tom like the typical archetype rom-com male lead, he instead plays him as if he is a regular guy not some macho chauvinistic jackass who thinks he is Gods gift to Women (Gerard Butler in "The Ugly Truth,” Mel Gibson in “What Women Want"). Tom is a normal guy that any guy could relate to  his problems are real so that is why the film feels real   if Tom's troubles were like they were in an A typical rom-com than this film would fall apart at the seams. Thankfully it doesn't thanks to in part to a wonderful award worthy performances from Joseph Gordon-Levitt and Zooey Deschanel, magnificent writing from Scott Neustadter & Michael H. Weber  and on the mark direction from Marc Webb  helps make  "(500) Days of Summer"  the most offbeat gleefully enjoyable comedy of 2009. I love Zooey Deschanel I love everything about her in this film (except the fact that her character Summer does not believe in love). Deschanel I always overlooked as an actress she just seemed like another pretty face in the roster of not so talented actress that have been coming out of the wood works lately. Deschanel is a breath of fresh air in this genre and her performance in some ways makes me think of Diane Keaton in Woody Allen's "Annie Hall"(1977) (which in actuality this film has been compared to). Deschanel is beautiful, mysterious, and somewhat mystifying as the loveless Summer Finn. The greatest parts of this film  is the way you see the crucial and more romantic points in Tom and Summer's relationship  and also how the audience is show the lows of there relationship as well the writing allows for Levitt and her to roam freely in this quirky world of there. It gives the film an added sense of joy and sadness that works well with the films subject matter. The heart and soul of this picture are the stars if there have ever been more perfectly cast stars than look no further than this pitch perfect film. Deschanel and Levitt are at the top of there game in this sweet and deliciously entertaining film. The rest of the cast including Clark Gregg, Chloe Mortez, Patricia Belcher, Matthew Gray Gubler, and Geoffrey Arend deliver fine supporting performances in one of the best films of 2009. 





Some may find "(500) Days of Summer"  pretentious, too offbeat, cynical and too colorful and fantastical to be taken seriously  but I am here to tell you that this is the kind of film that  can be taken seriously due to the  realistic nature of its  subject matter. Director Marc Webb and his writer weave an entertaining, funny, and at times dramatic look into a story about love and how painful at times love can be. This film is not one to miss by those who love a good laugh, a good one-liner, or a good dramatic moment “(500) Days of Summer" is the movie  for you.

4 stars: Love is a tough thing when you don't know why it ends

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September 28, 2010
Fantastic review! I actually enjoyed the song and dance number! It was especially poignant because juxtaposed right after that ridiculous number it shows Tom depressed again. Priceless contrasts!
January 23, 2011
Thank you very much and I am sorry it took me so long to respond. I agree the dance number with Tom was truly fantastic it was one of my favorite sequences in the entire film that and the one in the store with the Chinese family that was priceless.
January 23, 2011
Not a problem, Lopez. I agree. :)
September 26, 2010
I did like this one, though I have to say some elements felt really contrived. But then again, I watch anything with Zooey DesChanel LOL!
September 26, 2010
It can feel that way sometimes but after maybe a second viewing it starts to grow on you and the contrivances don't seem so apparent. This is probably the best of the romantic Comedies besides "Definitely, Maybe"(2008).
September 24, 2010
I still can't believe that I have yet to see this, EXCELLENT review.
September 24, 2010
Thank you very much. And when you get the chance you should really rent this or buy it this is a fantastic film that deserves to be seen.
More (500) Days of Summer reviews
review by . May 08, 2010
posted in Movie Hype
500 Days of Summer (...Bitch)
      "Any resemblance to people living or dead is purely coincidental...Especially you, Jenny Beckman...Bitch."      From the introduction of this film, I knew the movie was not going to be your average romantic comedy. In fact, I would classify it as an "anti-romance." It's the worst situation anyone in love could be in. Joseph Gordon-Levitt, who plays Tom Hansen, is in love with Zooey Deschanel, who plays Summer Finn. The problem? …
review by . August 24, 2009
Much like the complicated relationship on display in this film, I had things that I loved and things that I could do without.  I liked the movie...I thought it was pretty good.  It might be that it didn't live up to the hype that I had been subjected to hearing.  Anyway, let's dive in      "You should know up front, this is not a love story"      The trailer tells it like it is.  You will not see a typical "boy meets girl" …
review by . August 15, 2011
Don't be fooled by the opening narration. (500) Days of Summer is very much a love story. Just not the kind we're used to seeing.      Come to think of it, the title's also a little misleading. This is really the story of Tom Hanson, and the 500 days he spends being in love with Summer. But while we get to know Tom very well, thanks in large part to a charming and nuanced portrayal by Joseph Gordon-Levitt, by the end of the movie Summer remains something of an enigma, …
review by . October 11, 2009
posted in Movie Hype
"This is a story of boy meets girl. But you should know up front, this is not a love story."       Upon first hearing about (500) Days of Summer, your first instinct is probably that it is a love story.  It has the basic setup from the get go.  Boy meets girl and girl meets boy.  The difference is that the boy falls for the girl... but the girl does not.  In short, what we're really viewing is actually one man's misinterpretation of the relationship …
review by . October 06, 2009
 Perhaps the best way to describe (500) Days of Summer is to explain what it is not. Right at the outset, the unseen narrator warns, “This is not a love story.” But you may not be prepared for exactly how much it’s not a love story. This is not a standard-issue chick-flick tale of a klutzy cute girl who stumbles into a nice guy, or a drop-dead gorgeous career woman who figures out that her job is distracting her from her heart; and nowhere is there a grumpy …
review by . May 18, 2010
Tom (Joseph Gordon-Levitt), a twenty-something greeting card writer, recalls the 500 days in which he loved a girl named Summer (Zooey Deschanel). Though she made it clear she was a free spirit and didn't want a boyfriend, the two coworkers became involved and then parted, reunited briefly to be parted again.       This much talked-about romantic dramedy is fairly lightweight stuff, aimed at the teen and early-twenties set. To my older eyes, it seemed a bit of fluff, a forgettable …
Quick Tip by . June 26, 2010
posted in Movie Hype
Cute movie. BUT I felt like it was trying too hard. Trying to be smart and hip, which annoyed me more than it charmed me.
Quick Tip by . January 25, 2010
meh.. entertaining enough to hold my attention. not great, not bad. also not very emotionally evocative, which was a bummer.
review by . December 30, 2009
posted in Movie Hype
(500) DAYS OF SUMMER is a refreshing bit of fluff about the dance of contemporary courting - with a twist. Writers Scott Neustader and Michael H. Weber demonstrate a keen understanding of the bumpy road of romance and have been able to make a film that balances humor and tenderness very well. Director Marc Webb encourages his two fine lead actors to give performances that could just be career boosts for both.    Tom Hansen (Joseph Gordon-Levitt in a completely different role …
review by . December 22, 2009
posted in Movie Hype
"(500) Days of Summer"    A Ray of Sunshine    Amos Lassen    I just finished watching the Blu Ray DVD of "(500) Days of Summer" and I loved it. It's a love story that is not a love story as I'll explain during this review. We meet Tom (Joseph-Gordon Levitt--Golden Globe Best Actor nominee for this film), a New Jersey guy working in Los Angeles writing greeting cards. (He is an architect by profession). Then there is Summer (Zooey Deschanel), …
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C.R. Lopez ()
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Member Since: Nov 6, 2009
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(500) Days of Summer is a 2009 United States romantic comedy film. It is directed by Marc Webb, produced by Mark Waters, and stars Joseph Gordon-Levitt and Zooey Deschanel. This is Gordon-Levitt and Deschanel's second movie together (following Manic). Principal photography began in April 2008 in Los Angeles, California. The film opened in US limited release on July 17th, 2009, and will be released in Australia on September 17th, 2009.

Tom is in a meeting when his boss (played by Clarke Gregg) introduces the board room to Summer, the new assistant/secretary. Tom works in a greeting card company similar to Hallmark as a copy writer. He comes up with all the slogans for their cards. He is immediately taken by Summer’s beauty.

Tom talks to his friends about how much he likes Summer. While at first he plays things cool, he is convinced she is the one after an exchange in the elevator over their mutual love of the Smiths. He spends two weeks pining over her and executing awkward attempts to initiate conversation but can’t hit a chord. An opportunity arises when Tom’s best friend tells him that the entire office is going to a karaoke bar the following evening.

Tom arrives at the bar as his best friend is singing. He sees Summer and she seems happy to see him. Summer goes up and sings while Tom drinks with his friend and watches Summer. Summer then gets Tom a little drunk and has him sing karaoke. Afterwards, the three sit together and talk about ...
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Director: Marc Webb
Genre: Drama
Release Date: July 17, 2009
MPAA Rating: PG-13
DVD Release Date: December 22, 2009
Runtime: 1hr 35min
Studio: Fox Searchlight
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