Archive for June, 2010

Everyone who has been in a romantic relationship will feel instantly familiar with the plot of (500) Days of Summer. The movie follows young adult Tom who falls in love with young adult woman Summer, thus the title. As a voiceover informs in the beginning this is a story of boy meets girl. But even though the story has been read, watched and listened to since the beginning of time the movie is separated from other tellings in many delighting ways.

Also clear from the very beginning is the tongue in cheek mentality of the film, when it plays a trick on the disclaimer ensuring a movie is a work of fiction. This small taste of humor sets the tone for the rest of the film. It could be that the screenwriter has tried to do opposite to what the generic romantic comedy does. It’s clear from the first that the relationship between Tom and Summer has ended. While the movie jumps between different days on a timeline of 500 the viewer begins to piece together why the two end up separated.

Tom’s work involves coming up with sentimental messages for postcards, for Valentines Day, birthdays, funerals etc., but his true calling is to become an architect. While his relationship with Summer is in the center of the movie, the rest of Tom’s life is shaped by it in so many ways that how it changes him is ultimately what the film is about. Following Tom definitely made my day. Recently dumped will be glad to hear that life continues after a breakup, at least for a couple of a hundred days.

The film does not differ from generic romantic comedy #53 only when it comes to the plot though.  The film fully exploits some modern film tricks. A non-linear order of events for one. Well, Casablanca had that… Perhaps a scrambled order describes the movie better. Days of Summer also gives a great many twists on the jokes usually found in romantic comedies. But although the movie is very funny at points, like every decent comedy it has serious undertones. A friend who recommended the movie said that Summer and Tom are very real as characters and their relationship and the dialogue between them is close to what might actually happen.

I agree completely. It might only seem real to the two of us though. Here-in lies a bit of a gripe I had with the film. When the movie becomes so realistic some of the dialogue and events becomes perhaps overly familiar. I’m not sure if this is a valid complaint because it doesn’t affect liking the film. Before this turns into me describing how I am similar to Tom let’s wrap things up. (I am dark-haired, cute, believe in love and only want a wonderful relationship. Single too.) Sorry about that.

Where was I? Conclusion: Ultimately (500) Days of Summer is a fresh take on romantic comedies and a great film. The same friend I mentioned earlier also said (he says a lot of things) that the film is a film for girls that guys can watch too. Here I have to disagree. The movie is not aimed at a particular gender at all. Entertainment with a lot of deep thoughts on love and relationships, with excellent dialogue and music, enjoyable to any movie fan, regardless of their sex.

Read Full Post »