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(500) Days of Summer

  • Movies
  • 4 out of 5 stars
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Time Out says

4 out of 5 stars

Where did it all go wrong? One minute you’re in love, the next it’s all over. In this rom-com-as-postmortem, greeting-card writer Tom (Joseph Gordon-Levitt) tries to pinpoint the key moments in his ill-fated liaison with co-worker Summer (Zooey Deschanel), as the movie toggles hither and thither across individually numbered days in lieu of a familiar linear trajectory. When a stentorian omniscient voiceover announces that ‘this is not a love story’, it’s easy to figure we’re in for another dose of smugly hermetic US indie-cool, yet no matter how clever-clever Marc Webb’s film gets (and it does), it never overwhelms the subtle registration of this young man’s bitter yet enriching learning curve – it takes a broken heart to shatter our youthful illusions about love and prepare us for clear-eyed, grown-up romance.

Gordon-Levitt and Ms Deschanel are simply ideal as these bright young things: he always suggests that fires are burning beneath that deadpan wit and forbidding exterior, while she does the combination of pixie-ish Lorelei and withholding emotional sphinx to a tee. Their workplace affair is certainly believable, though perhaps the problem with Scott Neustader and Michael H Weber’s otherwise peppy script is that it relies on a shared nexus of pop culture references (The Smiths, perhaps inevitably) in lieu of individual chemistry, and flings in smart pastiche (Gallic art-movie torpor, a colourful Demy-esque dance number) when it might have delivered more authentic passion. So, if it just misses being this generation’s ‘Annie Hall’, it’s still deliciously refreshing, sweet and fizzy. A sherbet dip of a movie.

Written by Trevor Johnston

Release Details

  • Rated:PG-13
  • Release date:Friday July 17 2009
  • Duration:95 mins

Cast and crew

  • Director:Marc Webb
  • Cast:
    • Joseph Gordon-Levitt
    • Zooey Deschanel
    • Geoffrey Arend
    • Matthew Grey Gubler
    • Clark Gregg
    • Chloe Moretz
    • Rachel Boston
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