(500) Days of Summer | Marc Webb, 2009
Romance movies have become stale in terms of story. For every ten Dear John and Ghosts of Girlfriends Past, there is one truly great romance. (500) Days of Summer, although it is not a love story, is one of those rare romance movies that I always look forward to.
Joseph Gordon Levitt plays Tom, an architect that works for a greedy card company. As the intro says, he believes that he will never truly be happy until he meets “the one” and that person just might be Summer (Zooey Deschanel). However, she does not believe in love, which complicates things for Tom. Throughout the film, we go experience the 500 days that their relationship lasted and see how their perspective of love changed.
The script and Marc Webb’s direction are what most people talked about the most when it was coming out (as well as performances, but more on that later), but I found that these two were the weakest parts of the movie. Now, I’m not saying they were bad, and the director did a good job of translating the script to the screen, but they are not nearly as good as they were made out to be. The direction is sometimes too overpowering, and the script, while clever and refreshing, I didn’t think it was all that great.
The reason why the movie is as good as it is, is because of the two lead performances. Gordon-Levitt gives one of my favorite performances of the year. He is just so good and convincing at everything he does, whether it is dancing out of joy or being drunk and depressed. Deschanel gives her usual quirky and lovely performance, but that has never been a bad thing. The both of them bring the script to a level that it would haver never reached under different actors.
Although flawed, (500) Days of Summer is a refreshing romance movie. I wouldn’t want every romantic comedy to be like this, but I do wish people would take risks and be original.