Indie film makes an interesting Summer

“This is a story of boy meets girl. It is NOT a love story, it is a story about love.”

500 Days Of Summer, starring Joseph Gordon-Levitt as Tom Hansen and Zooey Deschanel as Summer Finn and directed by Marc Webb, weaves it’s way through those days in random order, yet we never feel lost, much like Gordon-Levitt’s Tom does throughout most of the film.

Tom is a greeting card artist and writer who falls for Deschanel’s Summer, a woman who doesn’t believe in true love. Slowly they become acquainted, start to see each other and then become romantically involved. Tom falls for her and falls for her hard. Through many well filmed vignettes we see the couple have dinner, breakfast, peruse museums, work together and become close, possibly too close for Finn, who gets cold feet and doesn’t like the look she is starting to see in Hansen’s eyes. She makes it very clear that she doesn’t believe in love and even though they are enjoying each other’s time, a relationship is not what she wants.

We’ve all been there before. We hear the words, but we somehow feel that we can change their minds. We even think we see it happening, which is why it hurts so much when we finally realize that it’s NOT going to happen.

Writers, Scott Neustadler and Michael H. Weber, have given us a story of the joys of falling in love, but also the pain of falling out of it. The direction and editing was well done and very easy to follow. The soundtrack fits very well, and at one point we are treated to an elated Hansen and the city of Los Angeles dancing to Hall and Oates “You Make My Dreams Come True”.

Gordon-Levitt (3rd Rock From The Sun, Brick) has Tom down pat and the camera loves him. We feel his happiness at finally getting the prettiest girl in the office to notice him and even more so when she finally kisses him in the copy room. And we feel his pain when he realizes that he’s not going to get what he wants out of the relationship. Deshanel (Almost Famous, The Happening) looks no older than she did in Almost Famous in 2000. Her Summer has just enough ditz, smarts and class to make us fall in love with her just as Tom does. We have no choice. She smiles just so, she speaks with just enough volume that we listen to her every word, we have no choice and we are okay with that.

They both get great support from a wonderful, relatively unknown supporting cast. Though it’s Chloe Moretz as Levitts little sister Rachael, who steals ALL of her scenes.

500 Days Of Summer has a very independent film quality to it, and yet it’s production values are all top notch. The only drawback was a poor casting choice that happens at the end of the film, and for me, it took it from a 10 star film to an 8 star film.

500 Days of Summer: 8 out of 10 Stars

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Indie film makes an interesting Summer