“This is not a love story. This is a story about love.”
- (500) Days of Summer
I had heard lots of great reviews about this movie, so I decided to give it a go. The quote above says it all.
Right at the beginning, the opening credits of the film definitely sets the tone for what’s to come. (If you’ve already seen it, you probably know what I’m talking about).
Before I go on, I just feel I have to warn you. If you’ve seen the trailer, most of the first half of the movie has already been revealed. So, going into it I had anticipated those parts and the jokes already. Sometimes when too much is revealed in the trailer, it can hinder those classic moments if you had not seen it especially if those moments are comedic in nature.
As far as the story goes, it’s definitely not the typical love story. It’s a tale of boy meets girl. Boy falls in love with girl. Girl starts to like boy. Girl and boy slowly work towards becoming a couple through a series of dates and courtships. Boy loses girl and tries to get her back. And, usually in most typical movies – boy usually gets girl back. Then again, this is not the typical love story.
At the very beginning, Summer (Zooey Deschanel) tells Tom (Joseph Gordon-Levitt) that she is not looking for a relationship. We soon find out that she is a product of a broken home, her parents divorced when she was very young. She is used to being on her own and it’s hard for her to really let anyone into her life beyond what they see.
So, going into it I thought she may have commitment issues. Then, they start to date and get to know each other better. And, at one point of the movie – it seems that Summer does let Tom in. That’s how deep their relationship seemed to me.
Though, the film takes a turn – things start to fall apart. Misery, resentment, and anger set in. The film goes back and forth (between past and present) to compare the early and later stages of the relationship. It kind of had a Memento style of storytelling, though it was not linear since it went fowards and backwards in time.
The film is really a case of perspective – we see the story through Tom’s eyes. We see what he sees. Or, I should say – what he wants to see. I don’t want to ruin it for you but let’s just say the saying, “We only see what we want to see,” holds true.
Sometimes the line between reality and fantasy can be blurred especially when emotions are in play. And, in this film – it’s Tom’s emotions.
As for the story, I felt there were some parts that were left unanswered. Some of these parts were questioned in the movie even by Tom, though never really answered quite fully. I don’t know if it was the director’s intent in order to get across the message about life and how things just happen. Though, as a moviegoer I wanted to know more.
To me, the movie had it’s moments – good times and bad times. Though, there were some parts that were slow and dragged a bit. It was enjoyable to see the courting of Tom and Summer together at the beginning stages of their relationship, it kind of takes you back to the silly and goofy things you do with that special person when things are good.
Overall, I felt the film was ok. I was entertained at parts, but I just felt some parts were still left unanswered. Though, maybe that was something the film was trying to get across – that maybe some things just remain a mystery. And, that mystery is part of what we call life.
If you’re in the mood for a romantic comedy, I’d say this film is something you may want to check out. In my opinion, it’s not something you absolutely must go run out and see. If it’s a question of spending the money, it can be saved until it comes out on DVD. Though I know some may differ in opinion, just my thoughts.
Happy movie watching!
(p.s. I did enjoy the music in the film, there are some pretty cool and catchy tunes!)