Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Back from a preview screening of the wonderfully whimsical (500) Days of Summer starring the charming Joseph Gordon-Levitt as Tom, the lovelorn romantic, and utterly brilliant Zooey Deschanel as Summer, the girl who doesn't believe in love, and whom Tom falls in love with the moment he sees her.

I don't think I'm giving too much away by stating that this isn't your typical romantic comedy (or even an anti-romantic comedy). Right from the very beginning, we're told that while this is a story about boy meets girl, "this is not a love story." Instead, the movie's about the joys and heartaches of Tom and Summer's relationship, and how Tom copes with the ending. The film is, rather cleverly, does not have a linear timeline; instead, the movie hops back and forth (but not in a haphazard fashion) between day 8 and day 344, between happy moments and the unravelling of their relationship. One moment we see their first kiss, the next, the first signs of tension as Summer pulls away. While the two are "compatible like crazy", as Tom's wise teenage sister puts it, "Just because she's likes the same bizzaro crap you do doesn't mean she's your soul mate."

The movie also has a great and hip soundtrack which seems specially targeted at anyone who likes the music that was on Garden State, Juno, The O.C. and even Gossip Girl, although, in the case of the last show, perhaps at GG fans in their late twenties and older. Artists featured on the soundtrack include The Smiths, Doves and Belle and Sebastian. I mean, what more could any indie music and film fan ask for?

One of the reasons I love the movie so much is because of its realism. Yes, there are moments straight out of a Disney movie, but, all in all, the story is just so true to life. And even though it's, ultimately, a happy film, it takes a piece out of you at the same time, because who among us hasn't ever had a Summer in his or her life? And though the movie's ending is a little too cute and neat, it just underscores what the Summer effect on a person is. You're a little bruised, no longer as naive, but you're wiser, and in a few years time, grateful for what that experience taught you.

I should know; I feel as if I met my Summer this time last year, and am only now managing to shake off the bitterness. On that note, I can't wait to see (500) Days again... only maybe this time, I'll bring a date!

(500) Days of Summer will be out in the UK on September 4th.

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