Reviewed by: Thaisha Geiger
|Featuring||Joseph Gordon-Levitt (Tom Hansen), Zooey Deschanel (Summer Finn), Geoffrey Arend (McKenzie), Chloe Moretz (Rachel Hansen), Matthew Gray Gubler (Paul), Clark Gregg (Vance), Patricia Belcher (Millie), Rachel Boston (Alison), Minka Kelly (Autumn—Girl at interview), Charles Walker (Millie’s New Husband), Ian Reed Kesler (Douche), See all »|
|Producer||Veronica Brooks, Scott Hyman, Mason Novick, Jessica Tuchinsky, Mark Waters, Steven J. Wolfe|
|Distributor||Fox Searchlight Pictures|
“This is not a love story. It is a story about love.”
“(500) Days of Summer” is an original, refreshing piece of work in a genre that has almost been beaten to a pulp. While it is a romantic comedy, we are warned that this is actually not a love story. In truth, it is touching story about love, loss, and moving on. The plot is surprisingly simple, but its directorial execution, along with the fine performances of the two lead actors, is what makes it a remarkable standout.
Tom Hansen (Joseph Gordon-Levitt) originally wanted to be an architect, but he somehow ended up working for a mundane greeting card company. His job sparks up when the beautiful Summer Finn (Zooey Deschanel) becomes employed. Having a strong shyness, Tom develops a crush until the bolder Summer initiates the flirting. She is, however, quick to warn Tom that she’s not looking for anything serious. Believing to have found the perfect girl, Tom agrees to take things slowly. Not surprisingly, Tom falls for the beauty and greatly suffers as Summer remains emotionally distant and true to her word.
The story is not told in chronological order. We are taken to the different days and their pivotal moments within the five-hundred days Summer so greatly affected Tom’s life. While some might find this odd, it added to the believability of the story. When a relationship ends, one usually searches within the relationship’s storyline, remembering the good, the bad, and the downhill turning point.
The story primarily focuses on Tom, who is given a charming vulnerability by the stellar Joseph Gordon-Levitt. Tom remains completely relatable and wins the audience’s sympathy as he falls in love with his dream girl. Summer is never given a full character development, and this was perhaps for the best. So even as a character, she remains emotionally aloof. However, enough is shown to understand why Tom is drawn to her enigmatic, yet alluring nature.
The direction is quite unique, thanks to director Marc Webb. We’re given a narrator, musical numbers, cartoons, and even an erased black-white canvas. None of it seems out of place, but rather welcoming as Tom goes through his own collage of emotion.
While the movie has many praises, it sadly does have objectionable content. The cursing is moderate with about 22 uses, including one GD. The Lord’s name is profaned a few times throughout the film, as well. Drinking takes place as part of a normal social gathering. Conversations take place that if a person does not act or speak a particular way then he or she might be a gay or lesbian.
The sexual content is quite heavy, but lower than what I’ve seen recently in PG-13 movies. While Tom and Summer do have sex, there aren’t any explicitly graphic scenes, they are mostly shown in bed fully clothed. In a video store, they go behind a curtain to see an adult film. They later rent one and attempt to reenact the scene in the shower. Their movements are hidden behind the shower curtain.
I believed Tom’s love for Summer and his eventual pain. While Summer wishes for a casual relationship, Tom isn’t the casual kind. This became evident when right before their first time, he excused himself. While alone, he had to remind himself of Summer’s request for casualness. He tried to remain emotionally distant, but to no avail. His fall for her is completely understandable, since God created sex to be a highly emotional union for husband and wife.
The word “love” is exceedingly thrown around in everyday life and at the end of conversations. Without any action, the word itself is meaningless. Perhaps the most popular verses on love is 1 Corinthians 13:4-7:
“Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It is not rude, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.”
The verse shows all the physical characteristics of love which result from actions. Perhaps more marriages could be saved, if spouses took time to actually show love to one another in the way the Bible so perfectly describes. God demonstrated His love for us by sending his one and only Son to be a living sacrifice.
While I did enjoy the movie, I’m a bit hesitant to recommend it. If the aforementioned do not bother you, and you’re looking for a fresh take on a romantic comedy, then you’d most assuredly enjoy this gem. “(500) Days of Summer” is certainly not a movie young children should see, but older teens might benefit from seeing how a relationship without God is almost always bound to fail.
Violence: Mild / Profanity: Moderate / Sex/Nudity: Heavy
See list of Relevant Issues—questions-and-answers.