Boy Meets Girl. Boy Falls in Love. Girl Does Not.
"Visually witty, flawlessly played romantic comedy. J.R. Jones, Chicago Reader
|In this quirky romantic comedy about love and fate, a young greeting card writer (Joseph Gordon-Levitt) is hopelessly, helplessly searching for the girl of his dreams...and his new co-worker, Summer Finn (Zooey Deschanel), may just be "the one." But the 500 days of their offbeat relationship reveal (in no particular order) that the road to happiness can be unpredictable, uncontrollable -- and unbelievably funny!|
"Something seldom seen: an original romantic comedy. Michael Ordona, Los Angeles Times
"It's a feat of star acting, and it helps make (500) Days not just bitter or sweet but everything in between. Owen Gleiberman, Entertainment Weekly
Fans of HIGH FIDELITY and ETERNAL SUNSHINE OF THE SPOTLESS MIND will be charmed by this quirky film that sheds a linear plot in favor of a memory-driven look at a failed romance. Joseph Gordon-Levitt (BRICK) stars as Tom, a greeting-card writer who dreams of becoming an architect and finding his true love. Zooey Deschanel (THE HAPPENING) plays Summer, a vintage-looking beauty whose ideas about love are entirely modern. As Tom remembers his 500 days with Summer, his mind jumps from moment to moment, largely thinking of the good times in their trouble-filled relationship.Indie darlings Deschanel and Gordon-Levitt are perfectly cast in this sweet, funny film that infuses the typical romantic tropes with reality. Anyone else would have caused audiences to hate Summer, but Deschanel is adorable enough that she still endears herself to viewers. Arthouse favorite Gordon-Levitt hasn?t played a traditional romantic lead since 10 THINGS I HATE ABOUT YOU in 1999, but here he proves equally adept at portraying Tom?s sweetness and his neuroses. Music-video director Marc Webb makes his feature debut with (500) DAYS OF SUMMER, and it?s easy to see influences of his past work. The soundtrack boasts songs from Regina Spektor, Doves, Feist, Wolfmother, and, of course, The Smiths, the band that brings the couple together. Webb also adds an innovative style to the dramedy, combining a naturalistic look at love with a non-linear plot, animated vignettes, and a triumphant musical sequence. The film?s mixture of cynicism and romance makes it perfect viewing for happy couples, the recently dumped, and the hopeful singles in the audience.
(500) Days of Summer - DVD Review
By: Bill Gibron
filmcritic.com DVD Reviews
Published on: 12/11/2009 12:42 AM
We all know the genre drill -- boy meets girl, boy gets girl, boy and girl have some music montage moments of great joy and compelling sorrow, boy loses girl, last act plot twist tosses boy and girl back together as if fated by the gods themselves, fairy tale ending preserved, and date night entertainment is once again served. But where are the stories where destiny actually dumps on us, when the supposed interpersonal perfection of the boy/girl of our dreams is actually the fuel for a long-festering future distrust of the opposite sex? The answer is Marc Webb's wonderful (500) Days of Summer. While perhaps a tad too quirky for its own good, this is still one of the best, most insightful romantic comedies in a very long time....read the full review
Cast & Crew
"[The] compelling premise is given the rueful temporal hopscotch of ANNIE HALL, adapted to two twentysomethings and new cultural references..."
3 stars out of 5 -- "Screenwriters Scott Neustadter and Michael Weber and director Marc Webb show a real insight into the contemporary audience by creating a movie that almost literally alternates between scenes of a relationship's glorious beginning and the details of it falling apart."
4 stars out of 4 -- "[A] delightful comedy, alive with invention....There's a little black and white, a little musical number, a little Fellini, which is always helpful in evoking a man in the act of yearning."
"Much like ANNIE HALL did for a previous generation, (500) DAYS OF SUMMER may be the movie that best captures a contemporary romantic sensibility."
Los Angeles Times
"[A]n original romantic comedy....It bristles with energy, emotional and intellectual, as it flits about the dizzying highs and weeping-karaoke lows of a passionate entanglement."
New York Times
"(500) DAYS OF SUMMER finds just the right scale and tone, neither trivializing nor melodramatically overstating the delicate feelings it explores."
"As Gordon-Levitt matures and age begins to burrow into his boyish face, he's become a relaxed yet still cerebral performer....[Deschanel] intrigues by holding her cards close to the vest."
Wall Street Journal
"Marc Webb's bright bauble of a boy-meets-girl comedy is a rueful tribute to the wisdom of hindsight..."
"In its brightest moments, (500) DAYS OF SUMMER delves honestly and insightfully into the mysteries of love and romantic chemistry, and how elusive a connection can be."
"(500) DAYS is like a mood ring cued to the ups, downs, and confusions of modern love....[The film is] not just bitter or sweet but everything in between." -- Grade: A
3.5 stars out of 4 -- "[T]he sublimely smart-sexy-joyful-sad (500) DAYS OF SUMMER hits you like a blast of pure romantic oxygen. It turns the genre on its empty head and sees relationships for what they are -- a bruising business."
4 stars out of 4 -- "The hopeless romantics are sure to fall head over heels with this one."
4 stars out of 5 -- ?DAYS offers astute, funny insight into the confusion rife in love and infatuation. Gordon-Levitt anchors the film with an emotionally candid turn...?
Included in Entertainment Weekly's "The Best Films Of The Year" -- "[E]xciting to behold...Joseph Gordon-Levitt and Zooey Deschanel beautifully catch the mood-ring melancholia of two lovers..."
Ranked #9 in Rolling Stone's "The 10 Best Movies Of 2009" -- "[Deschanel and Gordon-Levitt] are star-crossed lovers to die for."
Ranked #6 in USA Today's "Top Ten Films Of 2009."
4 stars out of 5 -- "A sharp spin on the usual rom-com formulae, this is funny, sensitive and challenges the genre's gender conventions."
ReelViews 9 of 10
(500) Days of Summer is a romantic comedy for those who don't often like romantic comedies. Or, to put it another way, it's for those who appreciate the emotions but are unenthusiastic about the clich?s and formulas that contribute to the cookie-cutter results. For his feature debut, director Marc Webb does so much right that it seems almost mean-spirited to point out the few, minor foibles (most notably, an occasional tendency to be too cute and offbeat). The screenplay is smart and witty, the leads exhibit Grade A chemistry, and the story unspools in a fresh, unforced manner. We aren't damned to endure tired gross-out gags or unfunny pratfalls. The comedy - and there are some funny moments - evolves naturally out of the characters and their situations. For a first effort, this is an assured and sophisticated endeavor and it leaves one interested to experience what Webb may have waiting in the wings...With romantic comedies, too often the constraints of the formula rob the movie of integrity. When something comes along like (500) Days of Summer, a willingness to deviate from the template allows the film to seem more honest and unusual than should perhaps be the case. Another departure from the norm is the script's decision to present the fantasy of romantic longing from a male perspective without an inordinate amount of sex and sophomoric behavior (differentiating it from Judd Apatow's endeavors). Webb treats his characters and his audience with respect. The result is something worth savoring regardless of the season in which it is seen.
- James Berardinelli
Chicago Sun-Times 10 of 10
We never remember in chronological order, especially when we're going back over a failed romance. We start near the end, and then hop around between the times that were good and the times that left pain. People always say "start at the beginning," but we didn't know at the time it was the beginning. (500) Days of Summer is a movie that works that way...Some say they're annoyed by the way it begins on Day 488 or whatever and then jumps around, providing utterly unhelpful data labels: "Day 1," "Day 249." Movies are supposed to reassure us that events unfold in an orderly procession. But Tom remembers his love, Summer, as a series of joys and bafflements. What kind of woman likes you perfectly sincerely and has no one else in her life but is not interested in ever getting married?...Zooey Deschanel is a good choice to play such a woman. I can't imagine her playing a clinging vine. Too ornery. As Summer, she sees Tom with a level gaze and is who she is. It's Tom's bad luck she is sweet and smart and beautiful -- it's not an act. She is always scrupulously honest with him. She is her own person, and Tom can't have her...Joseph Gordon-Levitt has acted in a lot of movies, ranging from one of the Halloween sequels to the indie gem Brick. He comes into focus here playing a believable, likable guy, hopeful, easily disappointed, a little Tom Hanksian. He is strong enough to expect love, weak enough to be hurt. Zooey Deschanel evokes that ability in some women to madden you with admiration while never seeming to give it the slightest thought. She also had that quality in the overlooked Gigantic (2008), although the movie's peculiar supporting characters obscured it...Tom opens the film by announcing it will not be your typical love story. Are you like me, and when you realize a movie is on autopilot you get impatient with it? How long can the characters pretend they don't know how the story will end? Here is a rare movie that begins by telling us how it will end and is about how the hero has no idea why.
- Roger Ebert