Wikipedia summarizes this movie much better than I can:
- (500) Days of Summer is a 2009 American comedy-drama film … starring Joseph Gordon-Levitt (as Tom Hansen) and Zooey Deschanel (as Summer Finn). The film employs a nonlinear narrative structure, with the story based upon its male protagonist and his memories of a failed relationship. As an independent production, the film premiered at the 2009 Sundance Film Festival. It garnered critical acclaim and became a successful ‘sleeper hit,’ earning over $60 million in worldwide returns, far exceeding its $7.5 million budget. Many critics lauded the film as one of the best from 2009.
The director, however, disagrees with the movie being characterized as comedy-drama or romance. Instead, he sees it as a “coming of age” movie. Whatever! Although the characters are a few years out of college, I can see how the essence of the film is portraying a young person’s transition from child to adult.
Rotten Tomatoes critics liked the movie better (87%) than its audience did (82%). I liked it a lot, too; to the tune of three and a half stars out of four. Why:
- The stars have a likeable, kid-next-door quality.
- The story, even with its comedic episodes, is both realistic and interesting.
- The denouement with Summer, in hindsight, makes perfect sense and contains several excellent insights. It reminds me of an ex-girlfriend who said that, when he says he doesn’t want to get married, he really means he doesn’t want to marry you.
- The closing scene, where Minka Kelly finally appears as, you guessed it, Autumn, puts a ribbon on the entire movie. This scene reminds me of Alan Jackson and Zac Brown singing, “As She’s Walking Away.” http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3tthIHXUsPs.
Incidentally, the movie begins with a disclaimer: “Any resemblance to people living or dead is purely coincidental… Especially you, Jenny Beckman… Bitch.” According to Wikipedia, a co-writer of the film has admitted that the story was based on a real romance. When the writer showed the script to his ex-, she claimed to think she was more into the relationship than he was.
Memory plays tricks, both ways.