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(500) Days of Summer - Movie Review

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(500) Days of Summer - Movie Review

(500) Days of Summer (2009)
Directed by Marc Webb
Starring Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Zooey Deschanel, Chloe Grace Moretz

500 Days of Summer is about a man named Tom Hansen (Joseph Gordon-Levitt), who, after being in a long-term relationship with a girl named Summer (Zooey Deschanel), is dumped without warning. He has to think back over the last 500 days of his life to figure out when the signs were there and he missed them. The movie is told in a unique way, jumping around the 500 days, from 279 to 3 to 464. The story unfolds as we learn all about these characters.

The way the plot is constructed seems like it would be distracting and jarring but really it isn’t, it’s a cool way to tell the story and piece it together in your mind. In the beginning you’re as confused as Tom, and by the end you understand everyone involved’s motivations perfectly. Nonlinear narratives are hard to execute but when they’re done well it makes for a really effective way of storytelling.

This movie is a really interesting study of these two characters and their relationship. Neither of them are perfect, though they are both idealised in some way. Tom being the protagonist of course makes the audience biased towards him but he is actually pretty selfish. Summer is portrayed as the perfect girl by Tom, but really she has no aspirations or intentions with her life. She simply lives in the moment and never thinks about the future. Tom thinks he is in love with Summer, but really he loves the “idea” of Summer more than he loves her. Summer tells him early on that she isn’t looking for something serious but still he can’t figure out why she left him.

It’s really a deconstruction of the romcom genre, commenting on how we sometimes romanticise characters that are actually not good people. But it’s not all serious, it’s still a very funny, heartfelt movie, especially due to the great soundtrack. It’s cleverly written and creative and I think it’s perfect for anyone looking for more than a clichéd generic romantic movie.

5/5 stars

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