(500) Days of Summer (USA; 95 min.)

directed by: Marc Webb
starring: Joseph Gordon-Levitt; Zooey Deschanel; Geoffrey Arend; Chloe Moretz; Clark Gregg
(500) Days of Summer

Michael says: "It’s nice to see a movie not about two people falling in love and living happily ever after, but two people embarking on a relationship that doesn’t work leaving on with a broken heart.  That is the premise behind (500) DAYS OF SUMMER, starring Joseph Gordon-Levitt and Zooey Deschanel, two visually appealing and endearing young actors in a smart, yet-still-fluffy film.  Tom is an architect by degree, but a greeting card writer by trade, and when he meets Summer, he is pretty swiftly smitten, and soon mooning over her and deeply in love.  Summer likes Tom too, and the two begin to spend time together.  Problem is, Summer wants to keep things casual and is not interested in having a serious relationship.  She is, however, happy to spend a lot of time with Tom, kiss him, hold hands with him, play ‘house’ at Ikea with him, and sleep with him.  After she dumps him, Tom goes through a devastating period of heartbreak until the two reach an understanding.  It’s a romantic film without being a fairy tale; it’s smart and funny and a little too cutesy, but an entertaining debut with lots of fun moments.

"Despite some interesting visuals, a rare look at heartbreak, and some original moments, overall the film felt formulaic and relied heavily on pop songs.  Gordon-Levitt and Deschanel are appealing and have chemistry, but at one point I did think, here’s another film about pretty movie stars falling in love.  Also, because the film is ultimately Tom’s story and told exclusively from his point of view, Summer is simply a device and not a real person at all.  It would have been nice, but obviously a completely different film, if Summer had been a fully realized character with her own thoughts, feelings and motivations, rather than those just distilled through Tom’s perceptions.  3 1/2 cats"