Writer: Scott Neustadter & Michael H. Weber
Director: Marc Webb
Gross: $12 357 265 (as of August 9th, 2009)
have you ever met someone and liked them and then after a while they start to like you so you start going out and things are great and you both like each other and you fall in love with them but - and they had told you from the beginning it wasn't going to happen - they don't fall in love with you and then things start to go downhill because you know they like you but you need more and then you break up and......?
well, if you have then 500 Days Of Summer is "your" story, and if you haven't then lucky you, but there are probably going to be parts of the story that you connect with anyway. as the poster so simply puts it: "this is not a love story, it is a story about love."not only is that a catchy tag line, it is also completely accurate.
in case you were worried that i had given something away in that opening way-to-long sentence/summary, don't worry. we are told right at the beginning of the film by our narrator (a separate voice, not one of the characters) that we are not going to get a happy ending for this couple. also, if you pay attention to one of the early shots in the film you can even figure out exactly where it is going in the end.
while the films story takes place over 500 days, we don't get to watch all of them. rather the film keeps jumping around to various days out of the 500 letting us in on the relationship at all its stages and not in order either. with this, we are always watching the good times with a knowledge of what is to come. which is the same thing the film was doing by letting us in, right at the beginning of the film, on the fact that it doesn't work out.
you might think that "knowing" how its going to end would ruin it, but that couldn't be farther from the truth. it just makes you appreciate the good times and see the "bad" signs more clearly. its like going into a relationship with your eyes wide open and yet still completely appreciating each special moment.
director mark webb's previous work includes directing music videos and, rather then this coming through on screen with lots of crazy shots and fast editing, it comes through via the energy that the film exudes. whether the film pauses to present the framed image being drawn over in pencil and then erased around the character, or tom (the main guy, played wonderfully by joseph gordon-levitt) and everyone around him breaks into a joyous dance routine the morning after he has first had sex with summer (a great zooey deschanel) the film allows itself to play and still remain one of the truest stories about love i have seen in a while.
while this summer has been pretty disappointing as far as blockbusters have gone (Terminator Salvation, Transformers, G.I. Joe), it is shaping up to be quite a good one for the smaller films making their way into theatres over the last 3-4 months (Adventureland, Humpday, 500 Days Of Summer).