johnlink ranks (500) DAYS OF SUMMER (2009)

I’m a big fan of both Joseph Gordon-Levitt and Zooey Deschanel. I think they have a decent shot at sticking around as some of the best actors of their generation. I knew they had done this quirky romantic comedy, (500) DAYS OF SUMMER, and I’ve been wanting to see it. I didn’t expect it to launch immediately into any top lists of my favorite all time comedies, but it did. I want to talk about this movie in some detail, so there are spoilers after the jump.

I watched (500) DAYS OF SUMMER (2009) on 9.1.10. It was my first viewing of the film. TRAILER HERE

So why do I love this movie so much? Here’s a quick bullet point list.

1. I loved the non-linear story telling. Good non-linear story telling unravels its plot in a way wherein the emotion of the film still follows a linear path. This film does that very well.

2. I love the title cards with the timeline number on them. They immediately reflect mood and, in some cases, provide some minor foreshadowing.

3. I love the dance sequence. I HATE dance sequences. I loved it in this film, and I loved its sour conclusion.

4. I loved that this is an intelligent, honest look at the two twenty-somethings struggling to define and battle through a relationship in which both come with baggage, and neither is just the ‘good guy’ or the ‘bad guy’.

5. I love that everyone who watches this film wants Tom to get in some dig, or some retribution during the last park scene. And I love that he doesn’t. I love that he instead finds something else, and that rather than this film ending in a tight little bow (like the cliche romantic comedy), that it instead ends with a beginning.

6. I love that this ‘romantic comedy’ is so in genre classification only. It bucks most of the R.C. trends. I think of it as the anti-romantic comedy. But, as far as that genre goes, I would list WHEN HARRY MET SALLY first, and then probably KEEPING THE FAITH. This film would be third, though it makes a case for second at least.

7. I love the composition of shots. Not something usually discussed in a comedy, but you can’t ignore it here. Tom is an architect, and that passion gets played through in the mise-en-scen, especially in the cinematography. There is a simple discussion between three friends that takes place with one in the foreground, one midlevel, and one in the background. It shows only their heads and shoulders, and they turn them slightly at varying points to create comedy or mood. This is a subtle shot, perfectly done. It doesn’t draw attention to itself and try to show how cute it is. It’s just there.

8. I love the French Film parody. Silly, and it does draw attention to itself. But hilarious.

9. I love the Ikea scenes. Everything a budding romance should be.

10. (Because a list is nice and final once it hits ten). I love the moment when Tom’s sister tells him not to think of the good. To think of the bad. But he can’t quite do it.

11. (Because I just remembered this). I love how smart this film asks its audience to be. I am familiar with THE GRADUATE. I know what that moments means, because I know what the context of the ending of that film is. I’m not sure everyone gets that. On the other hand, I’m not familiar with the Smiths, or much of the music loved by the two main characters. I’m sure that a fan of that music will find much richness in their relationship. It doesn’t detract from my loving of the film that I don’t know their music, it just personalizes their relationship in a different way.

So yeah, loved this movie. There’s so much richness in this film, that I laid in bed and thought about it for hours. It made me thankful for the relationship I have, and reminded me of the plight of previous relationships. I love the honesty of this film, especially of the last scene between Tom and Summer. There’s not enough of that in films. And to tell such a heart-breaking story in such a fun, lovely, and humorous way…. Man, I respect the hell out of this thing.


FILM: 8; MOVIE: 9; ACTING: 9; WRITING: 10; BONUS: 1 (What is this?)

The bonus point here is for the soundtrack. Even if I wasn’t familiar with ALL the music, it still set the tone perfectly in countless scenes.



~ by johnlink00 on September 2, 2010.

One Response to “johnlink ranks (500) DAYS OF SUMMER (2009)”

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