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(500) Days of Summer

by

Jeff Nelson

I personally am no fan of romantic comedies, but this is one I can firmly stand behind and recommend.

(500) Days of Summer
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When observing the cover, the synopsis, and forming an opinion of (500) Days of Summer, it quite clearly comes across as a chick flick. However, the audience is told at the beginning of the film that this isn't a love story. The film still focuses around a boy meets girl and falls in love-esque plot. Fortunately, the movie doesn't follow the general structure of a romance flick. It brings plenty to the table that keeps the audience entertained from start to finish. Many romantic flicks forget that the characters are the most critical portion of the script. If we don't care about what happens to these roles, then what's even the point of watching? (500) Days of Summer presents plenty.

When his girlfriend, Summer, unceremoniously dumps him, greeting-card copywriter and hopeless romantic Tom begins sifting through the year-plus worth of days they spent together. He searches for clues where they started going bad. As he recalls the good and bad times he spent with the commitment-phobic girl, his heart reawakens to what it cherishes most. Most romantic comedies are told from a woman's point of view, who generally is needy and finds her dream man by the end of the film. In (500) Days of Summer, we are viewing the story through Tom's point of view. We learn quite a bit about both of the main characters through the timeline of the relationship's running time. The screenplay constantly jumps all around this timeline, yet it never appears messy. It always comes across as organized and tells the story in a unique fashion. in fact, it feels as if the gender roles have completely switched. Tom is the hopeless romantic who wants nothing more than the perfect woman for himself. He quickly falls in love with Summer and almost instantly wants something more than friendship. However, Summer is terrified of commitment due to past experiences and seeing others breaking up. She simply wants to have a good time, nothing more. She doesn't want anything too serious. The dialogue is smooth and well-written. The comedy is on mark and it kept me entertained from start to finish. Since we are already aware that the relationship between Tom and Summer ultimately comes to a close, the ending isn't very shocking but this film is all about the journey. Everybody who has felt strong feelings or somebody and developed a relationship should be able to relate very much to (500) Days of Summer. While there are a lot of plot elements that will be very familiar to moviegoers, there are plenty of new components to keep the film feeling fresh and memorable. What we ultimately have is a couple of characters that the audience cannot help but want to get to know supplied with an entire running time's worth of spot-on dialogue.

Behind these infections characters are very capable actors. Joseph Gordon-Levitt is Tom. He is very convincing. Levitt is great in each and every film I have witnessed him in. He's simply able to take a character and bring him to life by bringing his own personal charm that only he could have delivered here. Alongside Levitt is the beautiful Zooey Deschanel. She plays Summer and does a marvelous job in doing so. She's just as believable as Levitt. This has become one of my favorite roles that Deschanel has had. We are even provided with a small performance by Chloë Grace Moretz, who has become a bigger actress since the release date of (500) Days of Summer. A cinema lover can't ask for more than a cast that fits the roles perfectly. While these roles would never be Oscar-nominees, they are certain stand-outs for the genre. One can easily observe that each actor put his or her own personal spin on the given characters. None of them feel flat or undeveloped. In fact, they feel full of life and truly pull the audience in.

It's extremely rare for a romantic comedy to get rid of the irritating clichés and become truly infectious in its storytelling and charming characters.. However, (500) Days of Summer pulled it off perfectly. Instead of fixating on finding love and all the cliché dating elements, this film speaks of heartbreak and the messy aftermath. Looking back at a relationship and dissecting the good from the bad, trying to see where it went wrong. Whether people decide to admit it or not, we all do this at the end of a relationship that we truly put effort and emotions into. I don't care what genre this film belongs to, it's a genuinely very well-made film that possesses a well-written script, great performances, and an overall memorable piece of cinema. (500) Days of Summer comes highly recommended to all audiences. I personally am no fan of romantic comedies, but this is one I can firmly stand behind and recommend.

My Rating = Four and One Half Stars

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