“(500) Days of Summer” is a terrificly clever romantic comedy you’ll never forget, for it is nothing like the standard-fare rom-coms that Hollywood churns out every year.
Smart, real, and funny in both the good times and bad of the romance that develops between co-workers Tom Hansen (Joseph Gordon-Levitt) and Summer Finn (Zooey Deschanel) as those “(500) Days” go by, director Marc Webb’s first feature film is just a gem. Moving back and forth in time, Webb follows this rocky romance between a guy ready to be in love and a gal who just wants to have a little fun.
What makes “(500) Days of Summer” such a winner is a combination of elements. The script by Scott Neustadter and Michael H. Weber sprang out of Neustadter’s real-life experiences; perhaps that is what makes the story seem so real. It’s funny, charming, sad, forlorn, wistful, pissed off; you name the emotion that surrounds falling in love and then having it get a bit rocky, and this never sappy, never corny film has it.
What it also has are completely winning performances by the two leads. Zooey Deschanel (“Yes Man,” “Elf”) is perfectly luminous as Summer, a slightly quirky free spirit whose enchanting presence overwhelms Joseph Gordon-Levitt, whose Tom is the quintessential everyman, a guy who hasn’t yet lost the belief that true love, fairytale love, is waiting for him.
Gordon-Levitt, who at 28 has already been a working actor for 20 years and is best known for his years on the TV comedy “Third Rock from the Sun,” certainly runs the gamut of emotions as his true love turns out to not be so true to him.
Another key element to the cinematic bliss of “(500) Days of Summer” is the supporting cast, a group of quirky, funny co-workers and best buddies led by sad-sack Geoffrey Arend that help make the story seem all too real.
And the unexpected ending of this beautifully structured romantic comedy really is the icing on the cake. It really is a gem of a movie, and one that men and women alike will really enjoy. I guarantee it!
Stars: Zooey Deschanel, Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Geoffrey Arend, Clark Gregg, Chloe Moretz, Matthew Gray Gubler, Rachel Boston
Director: Marc Webb
Studio/Official Site: http://www.foxsearchlight.com/500daysofsummer/
Photos courtesy Fox Searchlight.