(500) Days of Summer | Under the Radar Magazine Under the Radar | Music Blog for the Indie Music Magazine
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(500) Days of Summer

Studio: Fox Searchlight
Directed by Marc Webb; Starring: Joseph Gordon-Levitt and Zooey Deschanel

Jul 15, 2009 Issue #27 Summer 2009 - Jarvis Cocker
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From its sardonic opening (a short preface of text that calls out an ex-girlfriend) to its final line of dialogue, (500) Days of Summer abounds with humor and romantic spirit, sparked by dynamic storytelling, fanciful imagery, a splendid music soundtrack, and a charismatic, star-making performance from Joseph Gordon-Levitt. In the film, Tom (Gordon-Levitt), a greeting card writer, anguishes over his fizzled relationship with co-worker Summer (Zooey Deschanel), a girl whose common interests in music and art seemed to make her his perfect match. Sifting through his memories of the past 500 days, Tom attempts to pinpoint where and how he failed to win Summer’s love.

Screenwriters Scott Neustadter and Michael H. Weber have designed their boy-meets-girl, boy-loses-girl narrative in a nonlinear fashion that’s tailor-made for the DVR generation. Tom’s mind rewinds the way we might use a recording to analyze an agonizing defeat by the home team, indulging in the nostalgia of the highlights and obsessing over the plays that cost the game. This shuffled structure allows Tom and Summer to bask in the warm glow of dreamy vignettes (the highlights) while sparing us the devices typically contrived in romantic comedies to lead to intimacy. The screenplay also affords first-time feature director Marc Webb the freedom for amusing whimsical flourishes.

Deschanel evokes Chantal Goya in Masculin féminin as the fetching but detached Summer, a character largely defined, for comedic purposes, by her effect on men and her history with them. Dramatically, however, Summer is underwritten, a weak spot in this unapologetically male-centric postmodern film, one that points to an array of predecessors, including Annie Hall, Two for the Road, and the French New Wave (there’s a Bergman spoof as well). (500) Days of Summer is not a reinvention of the romantic comedy, but like its attractive downtown Los Angeles setting, it’s a revitalization.


Author rating: 8/10

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Grand Canyon tours
December 17th 2009

Not Sweet Disposition by Temper Trap. That was the song playing on the way to the wedding, but the one on the way back, after they were dancing at the wedding and Summer invites Tom over for a party. They’re sitting together on the train and Summer slumps onto his shoulder.

January 10th 2011

(500) Days of Summer is a poem to every down and out guy who thinks he’s the only one whose ever been dragged through the mill by their own Summer. What undoubtedly ends up making this picture so brilliant is how relatable it is to its victims and victimizers a like. When all is said and done, there is most definitely a lesson to be learned by Tom’s experiences. Everyone you meet along the way, whether just passing through or sticking around for awhile, has a purpose. In the end nothing lasts forever, relationships begin, relationships end. Try to be thankful for all the people that broke your heart, they more than likely helped you find yourself in the process …especially you, Summer…bitch. “Rolex Prices