By: Andrew Ward (A Toast) –
I was told to watch (500) Days of Summer from a girl I used to date. She told me that Joseph Gordon-Levitt’s character, Tom, reminded her of me. After reading the synopsis of the film on Wikipedia my initial reaction was short and concise: “Fuck you, [name removed].” But when I found out that the film’s writer, Scott Neustadter, was from the same New Jersey area as myself I figured I had to give it a shot. I’m glad I did.
(500) Days of Summer is the creative romantic comedy that the genre has been pining for years for. Famed music video turned rookie film director Marc Webb created scenes vibrant with color and ripe with emotion that made both Tom and Summer things they needed to be in a break-up: flawed figures that didn’t work out for one another. For anyone unaware of this film, that wasn’t a spoiler. You find out real quick that “this is not a love story.”
There’s not much to complain about the film. Sure, it falls into the occasional hokey stereotypes of the genre but it doesn’t matter. The minor bad parts are vastly outweighed by incredible acting, vibrant cinematography, a well-written script and a soundtrack that only falls short of reaching the levels of Garden State in terms of incredibly compiled music. Truth be told, I am a bit biased to the music because of Hall & Oates. My dad had a mustache like Oates in the 80s. I’m pretty sure that he was trying to pull a Talented Mr. Ripley on Oates the next time he came to Atlantic City.
No lie, the resemblance is uncanny.
Anyways, Zooey Deschanel and Joseph Gordon-Levitt worked so well off one another that while watching this non-linear rollercoaster of a kind-of-but-not-really a relationship you begin to feel for both of them. And as a guy, it’s good to see a film where we aren’t entirely portrayed as the asshole we aren’t ever fully being or the hapless last minute hero none of us will turn out to be. The supporting cast only helps further the story and relationship. Mix this in with the aforementioned film-work and music and you have a film that will serve as a perfect date night movie where both the guy and girl will be happy. Although, you may end up with an argument in regards to where Summer stands in the end and how Tom acts through out the film.
It’s physically impossible to be mad at her. She could run over my dog and I’d feel sympathetic for her.
To keep it simple, go see this film. It’s great. It appeals to both genders and breathes fresh air into a stagnant genre. Since this film Joseph Gordon-Levitt’s career has surged and Zooey Deschanel is now starring in a new hit comedy on Fox. After this film its “You Make My Dreams Come True” sequence Marc Webb was offered the Spiderman reboot. This film was one of 2009’s underrated films and should have at least had some more Oscar buzz than it did. I’m not saying it was the best film of that year or anything of that nature, but it is a film that broke a confining mold, elevated careers, and gave guys a movie that didn’t show them as the total asshole in a romantic comedy.
This picture earned Marc Webb one of the hugest Superhero franchises of all time.
And much like Jenny Beckman, all the inspiration I got to see this movie was purely fictional and did not actually represent anyone. Except for her…bitch. And yeah, she was kind of right.
Bonus Drinking Game
Take a Drink: every time the day changes.
Take a Shot: whenever music is discussed.
Chug your Drink: whenever Tom looks like he’s going to kill himself (you may die).