Friday, 20 May 2011

(500) Days of Summer - Review

When a film has been universally loved by your peers sometimes it's hard to start watching without your expectations being too high.  And before I sat down last night to watch (500) Days of Summer my expectations were very high indeed.  When I was sat on the bus tonight, heading home and still reflecting on the film I realised it had met all of them.

It feels like a kooky romantic comedy to begin with.  But slowly reveals itself to be so much more.  It's nicely directed by Marc Webb with some lovely touches that take it out of the norm, including a mass dance sequence, that I would usually hate but here adored.  The movie jumps around in time over the course of five hundred days from the beginning of a relationship.

Scott, played by Joseph Gordon-Levitt, falls head over heals for his perfect girl Summer (Zooey Deschanel) but she just wants a casual relationship without labels like boyfriend and girlfriend.

We get to see Scott post her ending the relationship from the start, his endeavours to win her back and the utter despair that being dumped by the girl of his dreams has brought him.

I guess most of us, male and female, have had a Summer in our lives.  The film does an amazing job of conveying the joy of meeting someone you think is amazing and the awfulness of being dumped by them when you still, perhaps blindly, think they're amazing.  The two leads pitch their performances perfectly, the acting is wonderfully natural and although Deschanel's character lacks any real depth Summer is still someone most of us have met.  An idealised version of a person that we've put on an unreachable pedestal.

We believe in Scott, because Scott is us and it's his journey that the film hangs on.

The chemistry between the two is almost too strong at times, to the extent that it almost works against where the movie ultimately ends up.  Almost, but not quite.

It's a lovely little film.  Rent it immediately.  (As long as you've not just been dumped.)
★★★★☆