Film Nerd’s Choice: (500) Days of Summer
Director: Marc Webb
Cast: Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Zooey Deschanel, GeoffreyArend, Chloe Moretz, Clark Gregg
Synopsis: Follows the entire course of one couples relationship, from the day they met to the eventual demise. The story is told in a non-linear fashion, jumping from early to late days in the relationship, highlighting how the passage of time can alter what was once wonderful early to become something grating at the late stages of this particular partnership.
I have long been a fan of Zooey Deschanel, but it is perhaps in the last 18 moths that she has cemented herself as my favourite artist. Not only is she an amazing actress that remains adorable in almost every performance, making almost any character she plays sympathetic, she is also quite a brilliant singer, making one half of the group She & Him, as well as contributing vocals to the soundtrack of a number of her films. For me, she is much more talented than her doppelgänger Katy Perry, who criminally has more fame than Emily Deschanel’s (TVs Bones) sister.
(500) Days of Summer is perhaps the film that she is most recognised for to date, despite having been the female lead in films such as Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy and Yes Man, and having bit parts in the likes of Failure to Launch and Almost Famous. This is perhaps because, at least for me, Summer is superior to all the aforementioned films. Deschanel is the titular Summer, though it would be more accurate to say that the lead role is Gordon-Levitt’s Tom. Tom meets Summer at work, and is attracted not only to her beauty, but also to her very free-spirited nature and goofiness. In short, the type of character Deschanel was born to play.
The relationship bubbles to a nice start, though hints are visible early as to the disparate elements in their personalities. Tom is clearly keen for an exclusive commitment, whereas Summer is more in it to have fun while the fun lasts. Perhaps she would have been more open to something lasting, but as time passes, the splinters between them develop very naturally. I read in an early review that one of the interesting elements of this film is that it does not paint a picture of a “bad guy”, or in other words it does not demonise either partner for the sake of story. I agree this is the case in the sense that the film represents a very natural dividing of ways, but Tom in the latter days does become borderline obsessive, which for me was a bit irksome, meaning I can’t blame Summer at all for drifting away. Gordon-Levitt is amazing though in a difficult role. He may be irksome, but he does not lack sympathy himself, and the role could have fallen apart in lesser hands.
I have not met anyone yet who has not enjoyed this film. I highly recommend it, just as I highly recommend more audiences pay attention to Deschanel, as it would be a crime for her to disappear from our screens and airwaves through simple lack of recognition.
4 stars out of 5