(500) Days of Summer

I’ll take any reason to see (500) Days of Summer. Being that it’s Joseph Gordon-Levitt’s birthday today (I didn’t seek out this info — it was just on my imdb.com home page) and I recently read a blog rating this flick as one both men and women can glean some substance from while on a date (http://blog.moviefone.com/2011/02/14/girls-on-film-redefining-date-movies/), I decided to watch it again and see how so.
Sure, there are cliches in the movie, but they’re minimal against the artsy backdrop, solid writing, acting, music, cinematography, etc. You’ve got split-screen scenes, the association of color with the mood of the plot, animation and oh my favorite of Tom (Gordon-Levitt) singing “Here Comes Your Man.”
There is an underlying theme to the story which, as the narrator states, is of boy meets girl. It’s not a love story. I feel like the divide between a man and woman on a date watching this movie is removed because the roles are reversed between Tom and his girlfriend Summer (Zooey Deschanel).
Her character doesn’t want a relationship and is direct about it with Tom. From the beginning Tom is waiting to meet “the one” and won’t be happy until that’s the case (typically the way a female may act)/
Living it out on paper as a greeting card writer, Tom meets Summer at work. It’s too easy. But, they do fall in love and she falls out of it. The sequence of their relationship is mish-mashed throughout the film, further burying the few rom-com stereotypes it has. It’s just a refreshing view on the trials and tribulations of romance, plain and simple.
I think I’ve seen this one at least four times now and have managed not to dissect it too much and decide the relationship between Tom and Summer is what I’ve been missing all my life. Not so. The film’s creators even warn the viewers against doing that in the beginning. “Author’s Note: The following is a work of fiction. Any resemblance to persons living or dead is purely coincidental.” The disclaimer, I think, can take any tension away between two people on a date.
It may not be a love story, but the viewer can take away a little heartwarming feeling from (500) Days of Summer. To repeat one of the many nuggets of wisdom in this movie, “it says so much by saying so little.”
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