Starring: Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Zooey Deschanel, Chloe Grace-Moretz
Director: Marc Webb
Running Time: 95 mins
(500) Days Of Summer is an American film about an atypical boy-meets-girl story, where the boy feels he has found ‘the one’, and the girl doesn’t believe that true love exists at all.
This is a pretty impressive romantic comedy. It’s got all the laughs and cutesy charm of your typical genre movie, but its original structure, genuinely heartfelt performances and beautiful soundtrack all come together to make something truly special.
Let’s start with the main players in this movie, Joseph Gordon-Levitt and Zooey Deschanel, both of whom give great performances. Gordon-Levitt plays a massively likeable male protagonist, who’s either down on his luck and depressed, which is always both entertaining and interesting to see, or blissfully happy in the best relationship of his life, something that will really warm your heart.
Zooey Deschanel is also fantastic here. Again, she’s got all the hallmarks of the generic rom-com female lead, happy-go-lucky, beautiful etc., however her performance really makes you believe that this character is not like all the others, and that she really is an independent woman who doesn’t believe in true love and being tied down by social restrictions on relationships (in that way, you can see her as a sort of tribute to Holly Golightly from Breakfast At Tiffany’s).
Away from the central performances, this story is massively entertaining and engaging all the same. It’s fun and lovey-dovey, and will satisfy fans of the normal rom-com genre, but its more human presentation of relationships in comparison to just a Cinderella story is what makes it stand out from the crowd.
That effect works even better thanks to the excellently original non-linear telling of the story. Of course, there have been other non-linear films before, and it seems to be a favourite of indie rom-coms, but this is a self-aware film that is telling the story like a storybook, where it’s obvious that the order of the plot has been carefully thought out to give maximum effect, by switching between the height of this couple’s relationship to the ultimate lows, and that’s really impressive to see.
The plot manages to balance drama and comedy and romance all very well too. This is a funny film, both charming and hilarious throughout, but it’s also a very intriguing drama about relationships and the real world, whilst the romance is as passionate as anything you’ll see, all coming together to make a wholly engrossing film.
Finally, props have to go to the guys who put the soundtrack together here. Taken from pop songs from across the last 50 years until present day, each track is both fun to listen to and completely appropriate to the part of the story it accompanies, adding yet another level of depth to this impressively emotional and intelligent film.
Overall, this gets a 7.5 because it uses such an original structure to make a romantic comedy that will satisfy both fans and non-fans of the genre, as well as make a properly interesting and emotional story that will fully engage you from start to finish.