Tuesday, December 29, 2009

500 Days of Summer Not Enough

     One week ago today, the movie 500 Days of Summer was released on DVD.  It stars Joseph Gordon-Levitt (3rd Rock From the Sun) as Tom, a young man who believes in fate and love and all of those other gushy things.  Tom meets a girl named Summer (Zooey Deschanel, Elf, The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy) at work and decides that everything he has hoped for is coming true.  The movie chronicles the first five hundred days of Tom's life after he meets Summer, but not in a linear order.  One of the first things the narrator of the movie reveals, though, is that this is not a love story, and though I was skeptical when I heard those words, it is very true.

     It was a very artistic and well made movie.  The skips were not jarring.  They made sense to get the overall feel of the relationship and Tom's life.  The story was told in the order it would make the most sense.  The relationship that developed between Tom and Summer was realistic.  Tom was wracked with indecision and doubt before he got with her.  Then, Summer said she wasn't looking for a relationship,  but she, like many other women in the world, meant she wasn't looking for a relationship with him.  It is a familiar plot, but rarely seen on the movie screen in this manner.  I refuse to spoil the ending, but Summer and Tom as a couple are over long before that 500th day.

     The tone of the movie was very storybook for a large part, sort of like the television show Pushing Daisies, though not to that extreme.  The music fit perfectly, and Gordon-Levitt and Deschanel both did outstanding jobs.  Between the casting, tone, direction, and everything else, I have only praise for this film.  I only wish it were a little longer than its ninety minute run time so I could see what happened after the 500th day, but then that would spoil the part of the story that was important.  This movie set out to tell a very specific set of events in Tom's life to get him from one place to another, and it did that, without falling into stereotypes or destroying notions of love and destiny.  A charming and heartbreaking tale told beautifully.

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