“This is not a love story. This is a story about love.”
So I’m pretty sure I’m the last person to see (500) Days of Summer. And I’m not really sure why I haven’t seen it until now – I just sort of missed it. But I digress, to start I popped the DVD in and I was promptly greeted by Regina Spektor’s Us. One of my very favourite songs (and one that makes me want to start playing the piano again!) the film was off to a good start. And it just kept getting better.
Now I’m going to talk about the film. A lot, so if you haven’t seen it, go watch it and come back. ***SPOILER ALERT***
So the jist of the story is boy meets girl. Boy falls in love with girl. Girl likes boy but ultimately falls in love with another boy.
Despite the narrator saying at the start that this is a story about love not a love story, I didn’t believe him. (Did anyone??) It was the bench scene early on in the film, when the married Summer (Zooey Deschanel) squeezes Tom’s (Joseph Gordon-Levitt) hand, that I realised they weren’t together. And on reflection, I’m pleased we found out so early that this wasn’t a happy ending for Summer and Tom. This film is about the journey of love and getting to the happy ending rather than the ending itself.
The film skips back and forth along a timeline of 500 days, illustrating the start, the middle, the demise and the aftermath of Tom, an aspiring architect/greeting card writer, and Summer, a PA at Tom’s greeting card company. Along the way we see fights in the rain, homemaking in Ikea, drunken karaoke and kissing in the copy room. We witness Tom’s endless struggle to define the relationship and Summer’s determined-ness to keep it casual.
Beautiful cinematography is for me what makes this film. The best part for me is the expectation vs reality montage. It was simply stunning, so inspired. Completely relatable, we’ve all imagined situations about how our fairytale will turn out and more often than not it just doesn’t become our happy ever after. It was one of the most touching and painful moments of the film – and credit is due to Joseph, to create such sympathy and emotion is real testament to his acting ability. (I also loved him in 10 Things I Hate About You and Inception.)
The film is taken from the point of view of Tom. So often in rom coms we follow the girl’s thoughts, it was refreshing to empathise with the bloke rather than wanting to cut his parts off because, you know, all men are evil.
There are funny moments too – Tom’s ‘I-got-laid-last-night’ dance can’t help but put a massive smile on your face. Tom’s little sister, Rachel (great name) played by Chloe Grace Moretz provides the unwavering sane advice – not bad for a 12 year old. A stand-out performance by Moretz, whose quips and advice make you chuckle because you know she’s right.
All in all, a touching, funny, beautifully crafted movie about love. Well worth a watch.
Thoughts on (500) Days of Summer? Leave links and comments below – I love having a read!