500 Days of Summer (2009): A Film Review

IMDB Rating: 7.7/10

To sum the movie up in one neat little bundle, I will share with you this quote at the beginning of the film:

“This is a story of boy meets girl. The boy, Tom Hansen of Margate, New Jersey, grew up believing that he’d never truly be happy until the day he met “the one.” This belief stemmed from early exposure to sad British pop music and a total misreading of the movie ‘The Graduate.’ The girl, Summer Finn of Shinnecock, Michigan, did not share this belief. Since the disintegration of her parent’s marriage she’d only loved two things. The first was her long dark hair. The second was how easily she could cut it off and not feel a thing. Tom meets Summer on January 8th. He knows almost immediately she is who he has been searching for. This is a story of boy meets girl, but you should know upfront, this is not a love story.”                                                                       -The Narrator

I hope this neat little quote gives you the gist of what this film is all about. For me to write about the plot would be no different from me robbing those of you who wishes to see the film for themselves. Alas, the plot of the story is not much of importance as the underlying lesson that we can learn from this warm film of disappointment, rejection and acceptance.

Despite the title being inspired by the name of the female lead Summer Finn (Zooey Deschanel) I did not warm out to her during the early development of the film and till the end of it. As much as I tried not to hate her character, I cannot help but feel a deep feeling of resentment towards her. What made things worse is that I do not really know what fueled this distaste towards her character, I assumed that it was because of what she did to Tom Hansen (Gordon-Levitt). However, after a lot of thinking, I settled for the simplest explanation: she was just heartless. [Spoilers!] Now I do not blame her for not reciprocating the feelings that Tom so obviously had for her, the thing that I could not accept is how unforgiving she was and how heartless and merciless she is even after all the hurt she put Tom through.

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I also loved the gender role swap that the writers so cleverly included. The character of Summer was portrayed to be a heartless and merciless woman –the Villain if you may- and Tom was the vulnerable, emotional wreck that resulted from his [Spoilers!] break-up to Summer. Or to be more exact, Summer dumping him. The reversal of standards was somewhat a breath of fresh air. It is not in every film that you get to see the male to be preyed upon.

Another thing that I loved about the film is the amazing soundtrack! I was introduced to Regina Spector, Carla Bruni and also The Smiths. The accompanying music at appropriate parts of the film set the mood for what the scene was going to be about, I just thought that the music arrangement was spectacular!

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I really hope that those who wishes to see this film will enjoy it as much as I did and as always, thank you for reading!

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