500 Days of Summer (M)

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The ViewAuckland Review

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Review byMatthew Turner2/09/2009

Five out of Five stars
Running time: 95 mins

Brilliantly directed, superbly written and featuring delightful performances from its two leads, this is a charming, funny and wonderfully inventive romcom that's easily one of the best films of the year.

What's it all about?
Directed by Marc Webb (making his feature debut), 500 Days of Summer stars Joseph Gordon-Levitt as Tom, a heartbroken greeting card writer who looks back over the 500 days of his relationship with beautiful, quirky colleague Summer (Zooey Deschanel) and tries to work out where it all went wrong.

The film then flips backwards and forwards throughout the 500 days so that a picture of the whole relationship gradually emerges, from the early workplace courtship (stolen kisses by the photocopier, etc.) to the blissfully happy days of sex and shared in-jokes and finally the inevitable decline after the point where the rot starts to set in, when Summer tells Tom that she wants a casual, no label relationship rather than something serious.

The Good
Webb's direction is an absolute joy throughout, presenting the story in a series of inventive and original scenes that will stay with you long after you leave the cinema. Highlights include: a split-screen sequence that puts the reality of a party up against Tom's expectations; a French arthouse film parody; and a simple but breathtakingly brilliant sequence where Webb uses the same four snapshot clips of Summer to illustrate both things Tom loves about her and later, things he hates about her.

Joseph Gordon-Levitt and Zooey Deschanel are utterly delightful in the lead roles; they also have genuine chemistry together that works beautifully. There's also strong support from Geoffrey Arend and Matthew Gray Gubler as Tom's best friends, while Chloe Grace Moretz contributes a scene-stealing turn as Tom's wise-beyond-her-years younger sister.

The Great
The tagline for the film sums it up perfectly: “Boy meets Girl. Boy falls in love. Girl doesn't.” In addition, the narration insists early on that this is not a typical romcom; instead it's a beautifully written, modern day reworking of Annie Hall that will strike a chord with anyone who's ever had their heart broken. Needless to say, it also has a terrific soundtrack.

Worth seeing?
Put simply, 500 Days of Summer is one of the best films of the year and marks director Marc Webb out as a talent to watch. Unmissable.

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500 Days of Summer (M)
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Content updated: 26/02/2020 08:00

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