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500 Days Of Summer


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I recently saw this movie, and enjoyed it very much.

Tom is a nice young man who thinks he's found the woman he was meant to be with forever. Influenced by Beatles songs and The Graduate, Tom believes in love.

Summer is a nice young woman who just doesn't feel the same way. Influenced by her parents divorce, she believes that you have fun until you don't feel the same anymore, and move on.

The narrative flips back and forth from the early days of their relationship when everything seems magic, to the later stages when all the magic is gone. When they first meet at work they bond over their love of music, their offbeat senses of humor, and movies, and acrobatic shower sex. The contrast between these fun-filled early scenes and the later where the relationship is dying is so stark, one can only share Tom's disbelief that things just didn't work for them as a couple.

The movie is set in Los Angeles, but doesn't feature any of the usual LA landmarks. It shows off ordinary buildings, streets, the sort of places we see every day and don't really look at. Tom and Summer love music, and music is featured prominently in the film... a couple of favorite moments were Summer yodelling the "Knight Rider" theme to Tom through her cell phone while people look at her as if she's nuts, and a song-and-dance number right out of a Highschool Musical production. Also, apparently watching "The Graduate" would help. Someone had to explain a scene involving a bus to me.

Joseph Gordon-Levitt portrays Tom Hansen. I am not familiar with any of his previous work, but he is very good here. As Tom he seems like the sort of guy any girl could fall in love with, making it all the more confusing that Summer just doesn't want him anymore. His pain and bewilderment seem very real.

Zooey Deschanel brings Summer Finn to life. She is a radiant and magnetic personality, full of life and laughter... and yet also distant. It is tempting to describe her as a free spirit, but that would be wrong. She is an independent spirit, but not a free one. She lives within boundaries of her own creation, boundaries that Tom is aware of, at some points believing himself to be "on the inside", at other times completely frustrated by her.

Zooey Deschanel is the younger sister of Emily Deschanel, star of the "Bones" TV series. Between Zooey's movies and Emily's long-running TV show, I'm not sure which sibling has bragging rights when they sit down for Christmas dinner.

Anyway, I liked this movie a lot. A lot of movie characters don't make much of an impression on me. Tom and Summer have been with me for several days.


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Anyway, I liked this movie a lot. A lot of movie characters don't make much of an impression on me. Tom and Summer have been with me for several days.
I can honestly report that these characters have not been with me for the past few days.

I wandered into the cineplex a few weeks ago because it was hot outside and I wanted to eat popcorn. I bought a ticket for one movie but wound up walking into the room with 500 Days of Summer instead. I enjoyed it.

[it was about half way through the movie that I figured out the flipping numbers. I was irritated by the eyes of Joey Deschanel (the female lead); her iris is abnormally large and deep blue as if she were wearing dyed contact lenses. I fear that as with Julia Roberts' lips, plastic surgeons will become rich by enlarging and colouring irises.]

This is an "original" romantic comedy involving a guy meeting a woman named Summer and in the final scene, a woman named Autumn. [Plot spoiler.]

Characters? He was staid and normal; she was wild and original. That's standard, even for Shakespeare.


If you want good characters and unrequited love, try Maugham's "The Razor's Edge". The character of Elliott Templeton is worth the price of the book alone. If memory serves, I think the main male lead leaves the main female lead, not for another season, but for a job as a truck driver.

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