(500) Days of Summer

Do you believe in love? “It’s love, not Santa Claus”, says Tom, in a pivotal scene in the movie. But hey, it just might be something like that. Love is probably like this largely brilliant conspiracy we are all made to believe. Or is it not?

Though it has been categorized under the romcoms, (500) Days of Summer is much more spectacular than a run of the mill romantic comedy. It’s a funny, satirical, sad and introspective examination of two people with different perspectives of their relationship.

(500) Days of Summer

Tom(Joseph Gordon-Levitt) is the typical guy. Constantly in search of the one – he likes to call soulmate – and making it his only mission in life. He can also be impressed pretty easily. There is a sequence where Summer tells him that she likes The Smiths and sings out a line from the song he is listening. He is immediately floored, not just because she liked the same music, but the lines she chose to sing. In another instance, it might not say much about anything at all. He is so elated when he decides she is the one that he does a Bollywood-ish song and dance routine with all those extras in the background. He is the one passionate and emotional about their relationship, who needs to be reminded of their existence as a couple at regular intervals.

But Summer – played by the irressistable Zooey Deschanel(who has adorned my wallpaper even during her Trillian and Bridge to Terabithia days) – doesn’t make it any easier for him. Summer is not the typical girl. But she is typical in the sense that guys like Tom end up finding girls like Summer. She doesn’t believe in love because she doesn’t want the heartaches, the emotions, the troubles etc. Summer doesn’t like the serious stuff. Everything goes for her as long as both of them are happy and enjoying their time together. So when she feels different and walks out, Tom is unable to handle the inexplicable situation he finds himself in – his soul-mate is gone.

At first glance, it’s hard to tell what we or more importantly Tom, has learned from this experience but the basic premise is that love may exist, but there is no such things as miracles or fate. In fact the final narration spells it out for us. If we understand that nothing is meant to be, we would make this life of ours, and others, much easier on this planet.

The soundtrack is definitely a collection! The writing is brilliant and quite worthy of an Oscar nomination. The Academy has this bad habit of ignoring some of the finest screenplays that come out much earlier in the year. In 2007, Zodiac was widely ignored and in 2008, In Bruges sank without a trace. Both the movies(and their writing more so), extremely underrated. I hope (500) doesn’t follow suit.

(500) is quite a satisfying movie and gives its genre a whole new twist. If they make a sequel titled (500) Days of Autumn, I’ll be first in queue.


30 thoughts on “(500) Days of Summer

  1. “Tom(Joseph Gordon-Levitt) is the typical guy. Constantly in search of the one – he likes to call soulmate – and making it his only mission in life. ”

    The second sentence totally goes against everything in the first sentence. At least as far as “typical guys” I know.

    Adi: We need to sit and talk about the “typical guys” we know!


  2. What defines a “typical guy”? In my opinion, emotion and passion are two different things. Some guys put them up on display while some others choose to be less verbal about it. I don’t know who qualifies as a “typical guy”.

    As a general discussion point for all the readers, would a guy be labelled typical if he watches Asin’s rain songs on mute? If yes, wouldn’t that be judgmental considering the lyrics and music are bad to begin with?

    Adi: Asin’s rain song? Hmmm, which one? Shreya/Shilpa/Ash/Raveena rain song I understand but Asin!?


    1. Yes, available on Youtube. Actually, Ram sent me a link of the song long ago. It doesn’t compare to Raveena/Shreya but it still falls under rain songs.


  3. Your reviews are so much better than the ones I read on the net and in the papers. You ougt to be writing profesionally. Enjoyed this!

    Adi: Ah that’s very kind of you, Mr. Shenoy! Thank You!


  4. A good reviewer must not just like his work, but also understand it, and get it across to people without pandering. You achieve all of this and more, and bend words to your feelings. Awesome da.

    Adi: I know this was thought out in two minutes :p Thanks man!


  5. I see that you’re using a mass promotion tool for your favourite movies now. I like your reviews. They make one want to watch the movie. And omg, whattay trailer! And whattay haircut of that Salinger-novel-heroine female! I’m getting that one. And is the female protagonist’s name actually SUMMER? It’s charming for a movie title, but really!

    PS: Do you remember now that thing you wanted to tell me but forgot? If yes, pliss to tell on Gtalk soon. I am nearly in my grave out of curiosity.

    Adi: You still read my blog?!


  6. I thought it hadn’t released in India…shouldn’t you watch it legally to write a review?? ;-p

    Anywyas, after reading your post, it’s a must see on my list.

    Adi: Even in US, it had a limited release. India, no way!


  7. Any skin in it?

    I’ll watch it. Been ages since I saw a chick flick.

    On an unrelated note. I saw Sin city. They should have named it Skin city.

    Adi: Hahaha, Sin City only now? Too late!


  8. Loved your review! Reminded me of a Times book review I caught last week… a novel “about the relationship between a restless amateur photographer and a shy young Irish farm wife.”

    My favorite line from that review: “The real dramas in this world go largely unspoken; they reach the reader in thought balloons of suppressed desire that the author launches, stealthily, above the idle chatter and run-of-the-mill action.” A nice tangent to your opening line, I thought!

    And about your last line, well, today is just day #1, so there may be hope still, of some of us getting on that queue.

    Adi: Haha, thanks!


  9. Really? You liked it? I thought the movie was such a waste of time. It’s quite possible I missed the whole point of the film, but I learned/took away NOTHING from it. Zilch. Nada. So yeah, you fall in love. Sometimes, people love you back. Sometimes, they don’t. But it’s okay, cos after summer comes autumn. (I didn’t know whether to laugh or cry at that overly obvious metaphor they used.)

    Anyhow, I’ll stop my rant. I like your blog. Think I’m gonna come here more often.

    Adi: Thank You, ultimately, to each his own!


  10. You know what, I hope they don’t make a follow-up, because this was such a good movie, it will be hard to beat it in a follow up…

    My favourite scene was the Dream/Reality split screen scene…amazing direction…

    Zooey recently got married though :(

    Adi: Oh, :( . Yeah, that was quite some mind at work there. It was completely refreshing and light.


  11. “e does a Bollywood-ish song and dance routine with all those extras in the background” – this one made me curious how bollywood-ish are we talking? since you mentioned extras and all.

    or was it just an off-handish remark.

    Adi: Rajendran has already replied. It was indeed very Bollywoodish to see something like that. Check it out on youtube.


  12. Sachita – It was truly ‘bollywoodish’. Very well choreographed and the guy just bursts onto the streets dancing around. A very pleasant sight in a Hollywood film. This was indeed a great script but largely underrated, I thought. Correct me if I am wrong, but it had the vintage Woody Allen touch to it – not the sardonic wit per se but the characters gave that fragrance.

    It is interesting that you mention exactly the same things I felt soon after the movie. I ran home to check out its soundtrack. Great post again!

    Adi: I agree, it did seem vintage Woody Allen. Some great lines and a female lead who is witty and clever. Thanks!


  13. Tom Hansen had me at “I guess I just figured, why make something disposable like a building when you can make something that last forever, like a greeting card. ”

    One of the better movies made, and I lapped it up eagerly. Not that I wouldn’t watch anything with Zooey in it..


  14. Undoubtedly 500 days of summer is the best movie on love and emotions i have ever seen. Its like the movie leaves a strong emotional imprint on your mind about love and relationships. Not to miss the fact that the movie has a outstanding background score.


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