Loaded up on my hipster reserves the other day and gave (500) Days of Summer a watch. The movie stars Joseph Gordon-Levitt as Tom Hansen, a greeting card writer, and Zooey Deschanel as Summer Finn, an emo executive assistant. The movie hops around a la faux-Tarantino, but it basically tells the story of Summer and Tom falling in love, being in love, and (gasp) falling out of love. The music is hip, the wardrobes are hip, the color-pallatte is hip, everything is suffocatingly hip. On top of that, Summer is so overwhelmingly… alternative that somewhere near the middle of the movie you get tired of her schtick and see her for what she is: a crazy.
Besides the movie being so Brooklyn, the story is pretty standard. Sometimes love works, and most times it works for one person more than the other. There’s nothing new here, and really this cliched framework really only works as a vehicle to watch new actors play out the same course of events.
The joy, then, comes in doing just that. Gordon-Levitt is fun to watch, as he earnestly weaves his way through the predictable twists and turns. You feel for him, even as he becomes a tad melodramatic. Unfortunately, Deschanel wears out her welcome a little sooner. She’s adorable, sure, but really, if she existed in real life, she’d be insufferable, and on the screen, if you see her for what she really is, she doesn’t last too long as an engaging character.
All of that said, I don’t want to give the impression that it wasn’t enjoyable to watch. The chuckles fell where they should, a few gimmicks here and there kept me interested, and the story, while predictable, still drew out a nice tension. You just must recognize the movie for what it is and enjoy it within the indie setting that it’s been placed in.
Have you seen it? What did you think?