November 30th 2009 16:01
"This is a story of boy meets girl. The boy, Tom Hansen of Margate, New Jersey, grew up believing that he'd never truly be happy until the day he met the one... The girl, Summer Finn of Shinnecock, Michigan, did not share this belief...This is a story of boy meets girl, but you should know upfront, this is not a love story."
What a fun way to start this charming movie and the above narration sets the tone and the actions of the characters which follow. Tom Hansen is played by Joseph Gordon-Levitt and he suits the role of yearnful Tom wholeheartedly. Zooey Deschanel is Summer, a child of divorced parents who does not believe in love and marriage. She is also well cast in the role as the newcomer to town who ends up working at the greeting card company in which Tom works.
From the moment Tom sees Summer at work, he is smitten. We learn early on that Tom has a habit of falling hard for girls and his friends are not convinced that he is going the right away about his relationship with Summer declaring that it is "Amanda Heller all over again". Poor Tom. He believes in fate and love and Summer believes in living for the moment and taking each day as it comes. But certainly this does not stop them hooking up as their friendship develops into something more and they experience ups and downs present in most normal relationships.
One of the fun things about 500 Days Of Summer is the way in which the movie jumps from early on in the relationship to the end and back again. It opens with day 290 and then jumps back to Day 1 and then Day 3. It is a movie filled with memories both good and bad which Tom revisits again and again trying to understand where he went wrong with Summer and why he can't get her to understand how much she means to him.
The quirkiness of the relationship and the theatrical setup of many of the scenes sets this movie apart from most typical romantic comedies. The karaoke scenes are fun as is the musical number the movie creates to highlight Tom's happiness after his first night with Summer. The movie blooms under the direction of music director Marc Webb and while it lapses slightly towards the end, overall I was captivated by the relationship between the two leads.
Regardless of whether their relationship stands the test of time, it is clear that Summer affects Tom and gets him to reevaluate his life and career. Tom unfortunately does not have the same effect on Summer, but she by the end, also discovers that she didn't know everything about love or relationships either. More honest than most romantic comedies out there doing the rounds and one which may even appeal to the men as well as the women.
Voyage Review: 3.5/5