(500) Days of Summer – A romcom for quirky guys.

I shouldn’t have complained about the Inglourious Basterds screening being so empty, when I went to see (500) Days of Summer I had to queue 20 minutes for a ticket. I was bursting for the loo so snuck under the barriers to relieve myself. Instead I was met my a rather short security guard asking what I was doing.

I explained my position to him and asked where the nearest gents were. He was having none of it and insisted I ask the ticket lady where they were and if I could use them. Whilst he talking at some length, I managed to spot where the loos were all by myself.

I wandered over there casually as he was still talking to me, I didn’t like his tone. I was happily minding my own business when a security underling, not even the midget himself, came in to check on me. He found me washing my hands and that satisfied him that I was after was a wee. After all that I got back in the queue and got my super cheap ticket. Hooray for Orange Wednesdays.

Because of the queueing ordeal my sister and I got into the theatre late. No biggy, they always show 30 minutes of ads. Not this time. We were 15 minutes late taking our seats but to my complete surprise the film had already started. I’m all for making the adverts before a film shorter, but a little warning would be nice. After we sat down another 20 or so people trickled in, all flabbergasted that the film had started.

500 days of summer poster

We sat down and heard a narrator, who sounded just like the one from Tim Burton’s Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, tell us “this was not a love story.” This is one of the very few places the script slipped up, (500) Days of Summer is a story more about love than any of the other rom-coms out this year.

Most films feature on the beginning of relationships. Two characters who are polar opposites in some way. They meet once and don’t get on, then fate keeps slamming them back together. Eventually they are worn down by the situation and fall for each other, submitting to the writer’s lack of talent. Not this time.

From the first moment Tom (Joseph Gordon-Levitt) sees Summer (Zooey Deschanel) at work, he likes her. There is a moments hesitation when she says “hey”, which everyone knows is code that she is lesbian. But he gets over it. They have lots in common and strike up conversation around the office. No unbelievable meetings, just ordinary days at the office. Then as the tag line aptly puts it: boy falls in love, girl doesn’t.

There is a lot more to Days of Summer than just the way they meet. This film follows their relationship as it deepens into something beautiful. The two leads have a good chemistry and the fun they are having is infectious. This makes it all the more painful when you see Tom destroyed by losing the girls of his dreams.

He doesn’t lose her once. Instead he is constantly reminded of her. Hoping every time he sees her they can get back together, work something out, go back to the way things were. Each time he doesn’t make it he goes deeper into depression.

The mood of each scene is beautifully captured by the cinematography. The colours and lighting are a just as much a part of the film as the characters and the brilliant soundtrack. Each scene is introduced with a small title card that tells you which of the eventful 500 days we are observing. They are all colour coded and give a taste of what you can expect in the next 3 minutes.


(500) Days of Summer does a brilliant job of fulfilling expectations. It has a very natural set up, and then a gentle pause before the pay off. Each time a big moment is about to happen you get a beat to hold your breath in excitement. Some of the jokes you can see coming but they are delivered so well that it adds a little more than what you thought you were going to get.

You get more than a film here, you see the world from Tom Hansen’s eyes. His jubilation after the first time he has sex, the nausea induced when he hears a song that reminds him of her and the pain he feels everyday. He is so helpless that he often turns to his 10 year old sister for advice.

Tom’s sister (Chloe Moretz) was a real highlight of the film. Her advice was far beyond her years and always of far greater help than that offered by Tom’s guy mates. I watched this film with my sister and it reminded me how helpful it is having a spy on the inside to help explain how the other side thinks.

Men don’t really know how women think, and that comes across in the film. The character of Summer is not as well developed as Tom, but she isn’t supposed to be. We see everything through Tom’s eyes and often only have his memories (rose tinted as they are) to put Summer together. Zooey Deschanel does a great job with what she is given, presenting a woman you could very easily love.

This is a modern love story for the 20 somethings. As a 20 something, heavily embedded in pop culture, this film really spoke to me. Its about how exciting love is the first time around and how it only makes sense once you’ve felt it. And lost it.

Walking on water. If I was any younger or any older this wouldn’t be right for me, but right now its perfect.


Add to FacebookAdd to DiggAdd to Del.icio.usAdd to StumbleuponAdd to RedditAdd to BlinklistAdd to TwitterAdd to TechnoratiAdd to FurlAdd to Newsvine

Explore posts in the same categories: Film reviews

Tags: , , , , , , , ,

You can comment below, or link to this permanent URL from your own site.

6 Comments on “(500) Days of Summer – A romcom for quirky guys.”

  1. Excellent site, keep up the good work. I read a lot of blogs on a daily basis and for the most part, people lack substance but, I just wanted to make a quick comment to say I’m glad I found your blog. Thanks, 🙂

    A definite great read.. ..


  2. AntBuoy Says:

    Thanks Bill. Keep reading and I’ll keep writing. A new review should be up soon for Adventureland.

    Any films you think I should go see?

  3. Tom Says:

    Saw 500 days last night and I certainly agree with your comments. I’m not usually one for rom coms but this one really hits the spot.

    Keep on writing :

  4. AntBuoy Says:

    It is great. I must of listened to the soundtrack a dozen times since I saw the film. Hall and Oates You Make My Dreams always makes me smile.

    I downloaded the script last night. Noticed some tiny changes. Summer is blonde in the script and the song that makes Tom think of Summer is different.

  5. Carina Says:

    I love the soundtrack and the film! i keep telling people this in the hope that someone will buy it for me! Joseph Gordon-Levitt is also yummy! a grown up get over it (anything with she’s like the wind and a dance routine! ace!) Cx

  6. […] reviewed this film here. It will cover my initial reaction to the film. But here we are several months on and like our man […]

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: