It’s Official, I’m in love with Summer

This in-between posts post is to do a review of 500 Days of Summer.

Maybe I should start a different blog for things like this, but oh well.

This movie was beautifully done. The artistic liberties were great. There is a scene in which they juxtapose his emotional state with the “destruction” of his blossoming artistic expression. The film does a similar thing using a black and white avant-garde technique. Not to mention “the dance”.

I think I have been vague enough that if you’ve seen the film you will appreciate what I’ve written. If you haven’t, you’ve lost nothing.

It’s hard to explain how I feel about the plot without “spoilers” so . . .



No really, it’s coming.

Alright, so the movie is hilarious, tragic, romantic, and heart-breaking all at the same time. The film sets you up for a tragedy. They try to warn you. Did I really pay attention? No.

We have two characters.

Tom: He believes, due to circumstances in his formative years, that true love and fate work together to make the world turn. They exist, and until they find a person, that person will never be complete.

Summer: She believes, due to different but not unrelated circumstances, that true love is a myth and a fairy tale and that there is no point in trying to find soul mates.

Naturally, they end up together.

Tom and Summer have a relationship that at some point will remind you of a relationship you’ve had. Whether you are Tom or Summer. I have definitely been both. In fact, one unsavory relationship of mine started with me being Tom and ending up as Summer. Really strange. Anyway, the relationship is beautiful in the beginning. They laugh at each other, they have fun, they are both energized and alive. Nonetheless, the film constantly reminds you that everything gold will not stay. A technique that I was impressed with. The time line is broken and goes back and forth through the relationship’s beginning, middle, and end seamlessly.

The film’s soundtrack is great as well. You’ve got the 60s covered with Simon and Garfunkel, Hall & Oates grab the 70s, The Smiths (arguably the cause of the catastrophe and definitely the catalyst) take care of the 80s, and we are gently soothed by the indie-pop sounds of the time: Regina Spektor, Feist (who has been around for awhile now), The Temper Trap, and Wolfmother.

Now, I am going to do what the film does. I believe I have successfully made you fall in love with the film.

THE BAD NEWS and this is where the real spoiler begins.

The film kinda’ lies to you. It says it is not a love story. It leads you to believe being hopelessly romantic is no better than being hopelessly cynical. AND THEN!!! It turns on you!

Now back to my glowing review.

It only slightly turns on you.

I believe that the film is saying simply, “love happens”

Sometimes it does, and other times it doesn’t. Trying to rely on fate to determine whether you’re in love won’t work. Deciding that you are NOT going to fall in love won’t work. Love hits you whether you like it or not at anytime anywhere.

Which is nice and cute and TOTALLY kitsch, but somehow it doesn’t take away from the film’s beauty and charm.

Zooey Deschanel is always beautiful and easy to fall in love with.

Joseph Gordon-Levitt plays a great neurotic. I have liked him since 3rd Rock from the Sun.

My review? A-

The movie gets the minus because it does kind of trick you, but it was highly enjoyable.

I highly recommend this movie.

Much Love,

– Brandon Holly –

p.s. – since I’m on a “movie about love” kick check out this! Paper Heart is another movie about love. It’s part documentary, part . . . not a documentary? Anyway, click on the MASH game and have fun! It will take you back to Middle School, I promise!


7 thoughts on “It’s Official, I’m in love with Summer

  1. mcarteratthemovies says:

    More and more people are ranking “(500) Days of Summer” as one of the better romantic comedies they have seen, so I’m pretty excited about the movie, which won’t open near me until tomorrow.

    I hear your like of “3rd Rock” — it was a great show, and Joseph Gordon-Levitt was great in it. I’m so glad he’s turned that into an eclectic career of great performances.

    M. Carter at the Movies

  2. brandonwantstochangetheworld says:

    M. Carter, thanks for the comment!

    I would not have gotten to see the movie if it wasn’t for the free screening in a city that is two hours away from me. I definitely had to work for my viewing, but it was completely worth the trip.

    Also, I think more people should appreciate that TV show. Maybe I will buy DVDs and subject my friends to shameless syndication.

  3. I’m glad you got to see it – I’ve seen it twice since being in New York, and it’s definitely one of the best movies I’ve seen in a long, long time.

    For JGL, I’d classify his character more in the vein of 10 Things I Hate About You than 3rd Rock, but it was really, really good to see him again. Where has he been?? He obviously needs to do more movies – he was perfect here.

    In my opinion, the best part of this movie is the statement it makes about how you view people you love, rather than love itself. It was basically two different stories – how he viewed her, and then how he felt after he realized she wasn’t who he thought she was. Such a fascinating movie and concept – I think what makes it work is that it’s from a man’s perspective, and you don’t generally expect men in romantic movies to be the ones wearing the rose-colored glasses.

    • brandonwantstochangetheworld says:

      Ha! I always think of Heath Ledger and Julia Stiles when I think of that movie. Good ol’ Joey is in that movie! I liked that the story was told from the man’s point of view for two reasons. One, it is subverting the idea that this kind of thing doesn’t happen to guys. Two, it is subverting the idea that women are always victims. Clearly, the reasons are two sides of the same coin. My only problem is that it pretends to subvert the idea that Love Conquers All . . . and then doesn’t. Though, quite honestly I’m glad it didn’t.

      If I lived in a city in which it was actually showing I would definitely be giving it several rounds.

      – Brandon –

      p.s. – It’s so awesome that you’re in New York!

      • Bailey says:

        Thanks! I’m not gonna lie, it is pretty awesome haha. Unfortunately I fly home tomorrow.

        But yeah. What I loved is that it completely defied the cliche. It was just so real for me – everything was so much up to chance, but if you believe in fate it could be that, too. Hard to explain, haha – so many paradoxes. I just loved that it made no cliche movie pretenses.

  4. I have to admit I skipped the spoiler part because I want to see the movie first, but I watched Yes Man last night and fell in love with Zooey all over again. 🙂

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