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500 Days of Summer (2009)

Directed by Marc Webb Written by Scott Neustadter & Michael H. Weber

  I never would have thought the boy from 3rd Rock from the Sun would turn out to be this incredibly bad ass actor who could captivate in action, independent films and turn out to be Robin. Though, that’s quite a different story. Joseph Gordon-Levitt has grown to be quite a fetching actor to watch on-screen and personally, cannot wait to see what roles he takes on in the future. As for Zooey Deschanel, I couldn’t say for sure how it is about her I feel. It seems the very words escape me and I cannot find a sincere enough description of how I see her, hmm. I’ve enjoyed her just as equally as a blonde in The New Guy and Elf and thoroughly enjoyed Surf’s Up; her voice worked well in the cartoon world; she does have a cute voice and way of speaking about herself. This particular story is starting to get old in that simply, the “rules” need to change again or I would like to see this “rom-coms” end a bit differently. Before it was simply boy meets girl, boy doesn’t get girl right away, *insert conflict here* Boy gets girl. Now, it’s boy meets girl, girl pretends not to give a fudge *insert any sort of emotional turmoil and mindfu*ks here* Boy and girl either part ways or remain “cool” because that seems like a trendy thing to do nowadays.

  Having said all that, you should know up front “this is not a love story.” As well that I did enjoy it, but we shall get to that later. Before the movie starts we see a Author’s Note: The following is a work of fiction. Any resemblance to persons living or dead is purely coincidental. Especially you Jenny Beckman. Bitch. I just thought it was hilarious to open the film with. The writer does state to have had the majority actually happen to him. We begin on Day 488 as Tom (Levitt) and Summer (Deschanel) sit on a park bench overlooking the city. Back to Day 1; it was January 8th and he knew right from looking at her that she was “the one.” Day 290: Rachel, (Chloë Grace Moretz) Tom’s sister arrives after being called by his friends who didn’t know what else to do. She finds Tom standing somberly in the kitchen, repeatedly smashing plate after plate against the counter. Asked to be told what happened as they sit and discuss the basics up until that point and then later resume after.

  Tom writes greeting cards for a living though his passion is architecture. After initializing seeing Summer and later sharing an elevator ride, it only confirms what he knew when stating that she too, loved The Smiths; the band he was currently listening to. Insisting fate was the cause of him not finding a love until now and first converses with her at an engagement party for one of their fellow employees. Day 154 is when it’s official and he knows he’s in love. Her smile, hair and how she licks her lips. “I love how I hear this song every time I think of her,” referring to “She’s like the Wind” by Patrick Swayze. Of course, those emotions are eventually met with Day 322 in which he exclaims “I hate summer. I hate her crooked teeth. I hate her 1960’s haircut. I hate the way she smacks her lips before she talks. I hate this song!” He speaks with his sister who kindly reminds him that just because some weird girl likes the same stuff he does, does not mean they were meant for each other. Day 27: Tom’s office meets up for drinks and some Karaoke as we hear the two speak more about Summer and her stance on relationships. She speaks of not being comfortable being anyone’s anything and that relationships were too messy and who needed it. When asked what happened if she fell in love she replies with inquiring as to what that even meant. Stating that most marriages end in divorce anyway. Letting him know upfront of not wanting anything serious though in Tom’s defense, he never seemed to have a chance. She was aware of how much he liked her, at least, it was something that was made completely obvious. If not willing to give her all then she shouldn’t have continued forward knowing that Tom’s feelings could only further develop; seemed almost cruel. The other hand being that Summer did state want it was she wanted. She liked Tom and wanted to get to know this person who had gone out of his way to talk to her. Perhaps she had thought he would be able to handle dating someone without getting too involved and everything after the fact stacked on top of each other.

  Day 109 was a turning point with Summer bringing Tom to her place to divulge in certain stories that had to be earned, not told to just anyone. He goes to his sister for advice as he’s unsure of what they were really and whether he should ask. Which he does and while his life does begin to take a turn, soon meets an improper demise. Day 259 Tom finds himself in a fight at a bar after someone hits on Summer and gets upset for the mere fact she was with “this guy.” Day 321 brings trouble at work when boss Vance (Clark Gregg) asks if anything had happened recently in his personal life. The reason being for his latest card which stated, “Roses are red, Violets are blue, fu*k you whore.” Not seeing Summer again until Day 402 when on the same train to attend the wedding having gone to the engagement party of. Tom fights reality with that of his expectations and soon discovers Summer’s own engagement and quits his job on Day 442. Day 456-476 brings him up as he prepares for a big interview on Day 488. Before of which is coincidentally joined by Summer who had been on a nearby bench. Asked if okay, his reply of “I will be, eventually,” and the way he looked at her broke my heart.

  The movie also makes quite clear of its appreciation of music in its many references and items found in the background, if paying enough attention. Which may have worked in it’s favor; the soundtrack for the movie is not simply just. It’s one with which plays into certain scenes in a manner that gives the film it’s “down to earth” appeal. I also enjoyed the way they would alternate through the days. The movie doesn’t go in order, is narrative and the scenes are pinned against one another to show how the very moments that brought them silly happiness now bring despair with a spiraling downhill motion only in sight. The supporting cast was plucked full of nice surprises that acted as the glue for Tom’s life and assisted in being there in much-needed time. Geoffrey Arend (McKenzie) whose probably most known for Super Troopers, slightly reminded me of Michael Richards in this film, hair and all. Just the same as Matthew Gray Gubler (Paul) whose familiar face is from Criminal Minds. Though they both had humorous lines, that’s what the movie is full of. Quips are plenty here and it was Chloë (Rachel/Tom’s sister) that was the pick for funniest “sidekick.” It’s, sadly, rare that I get to speak on many actresses that I enjoy. In fact, the only actresses that adorn my wall are Audrey, Marilyn, Jackie Brown and Mrs. Mia Wallace. Ellen Page is another actress I favor and of course I could go on of several older actresses who I have long adored but gosh darn it, they don’t seem to make ’em like they used to. Any who, she’s well on her way to making a name for herself. To also kick so much ass as a young age makes me await for her older roles; please oh please don’t fu*k up Carrie, oh please!

  No doubt that one could either enjoy or find no pleasure in the film depending on how much “rom-com” you can take. I’m not so sure that I agree with the marriage part per-say. It’s one thing to move on and to find someone who is actually right for you. Quite another to give up your stance on a heavy topic such as marriage. I could have done without her getting married and kept it at having just found someone else. While we may live in a society that treats marriage as something to do when simply “bored” or for “might as well” sake, there is hardly any time between them splitting and everything occurring with Summer. The whole thing seemed a bit unneeded and thrown in to show that at least one person got a happy ending when I didn’t feel it was necessary.