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IFFBoston Review: 500 Days of Summer

500 Days of SummerThe narrator states right at the beginning of ‘500 Days of Summer’ that this film is not a love story. You think, “Yeah right. It has a boy, a girl, and its about their relationship, how is that not a love story.” Well, I’ll further afirm the fact, that ‘500 Days of Summer’ is not a love story, its more like a story about a character and his understanding of fate, emotion, and relationships.

Directed by Marc Webb, ‘500 days of Summer’ tells the story of Summer (Zooey Deschanel) and Tom (Joseph Gordon-Levitt) and their relationship, from start to finish. Tom works at a greeting card company, and Summer starts as an assistant to Tom’s boss. Tom, something of a hopeless romantic, instantly falls for her. As luck would have it, things work out in his favor, and the pair begin their relationship.

The film tries to be slightly more realistic then your general relationship movies (I use “realistic” loosely here). Rather then, the two meet, the two fall in love, in this, two meet, and the two become friends. Then, one thinks the relationship is one thing, the other things its another (is this sounding familiar to anyone?). The film is told almost all through Tom’s perspective.

The cinematography is awesome, the film takes place in Los Angeles, and the film highlights some of LA’s older architecture, to go along with Tom’s dreams of one day becoming an architect. They really did a great job of showing Los Angeles in a different light, I don’t remember seeing one free way or traffic jam. The whole film jumps back and forth giving you spots from the beginning and end. There are dream sequences that did remind me of Amélie, but this isn’t bad thing.

The film does have some “name-dropping moments,”  as I’ve come to call them. There are a few scenes where the characters discuss some of their favorite bands, The Smiths, Belle & Sebastian, etc. This type of stuff drove me nuts in ‘Juno,’ because it comes off like their trying to prove to me how cool they are by throwing these band names in there. But, it didn’t feel as ridiculous as it did in ‘Juno.’

One thing I will say about the movie, and I don’t feel that its a spoiler because its pretty clear in the trailers that at a point the relationship goes wrong. During that time, you really did feel like you were the one going through the relationship with Tom. You had the pit in your stomach, you had the same hope as Tom that it would work out.

‘500 Days of Summer’ could have very easily been a goofy, clichéd movie, but we are convinced due to the stellar performances of Joseph Gordon-Levitt and Zooey Deschanel. Both are great young actors in roles that seemed written for them.

So this Summer, catch ‘500 Days of Summer,’ you won’t be disappointed.

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