“(500) Days of Summer”

“(500) Days of Summer” with Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Zooey Deschanel, Geoffrey Arend, Chloe Grace Moretz, Matthew Gray Gubler, and Clark Gregg

Directed by Marc Webb, Written by Scott Neustadter & Michael H. Weber

(500) Days of Summer“(500) Days of Summer” struck me, and not in a good way.  I enjoyed it upon reflection, but not at first.  I felt sad, depressed, and filled with angst immediately following my Valentine’s viewing of “(500) Days of Summer.”  However, like aforementioned, my initial reaction was more based in the circumstance, rather than the actual quality of the film.

“(500) Days of Summer” falls into a sub-genre of the standard romantic comedy–one that I can’t really put my finger on.  I am almost positive that there is a name for it, yet my knowledge of film classifications is most impressive once I strike moot.  At parts “(500) Days of Summer” fit the rom-com bill perfectly; however, on the whole it’s an entirely different beast.  It exists in a subset.  It tries to more deeply explore the idea of love, rather than giving audiences another difficult kindling of a couple not meant to-be/meant to-be.

Joseph Gordon-Levitt plays, Tom.  I wouldn’t call Tom ‘helplessly romantic,’ but he is definitely more-inclined to romanticism.  He believes in true love and the concept of a soulmate.  His counterpart, Summer played by Zooey Deschanel, feels oppositely.  She possesses that certain kind of ‘x-factor’ and subsequently has been hit on her whole life.

So what would happen if these two met and fell in love?

That is precisely the intent behind screenwriters, Scott Neustadter and Michael H. Weber’s “(500) Days of Summer.”  The plot is uniquely structured in that it skips around a 500 day period of Tom’s life during which Summer played an influential role.  The two obviously fall in love (after meeting as coworkers), but the real heart of the movie begs the question: Is this the one?

Ringo Starr Quote from (500) Days of SummerAs an audience member we get to see the goofy moments, the fights, the make-ups, and all-of-the other little joys and horrors of life’s relationships.  The story skips around never linearly progressing through the ‘500 days,’ yet the conversations amongst Tom and the rest of the cast compound to create a cohesive and synergetic film.

Funnily enough, the end of the film is quite surprising and poignant in the fact that it doesn’t end in the manner that you would hope or expect it to.  Not only does “(500) Days of Summer” focus on the trials-and-tribulations of relationships, but the gray.  That area between Venn Diagram circles that causes most so much anguish and joy.

I found the acting to superb.  Joseph-Gordon Levitt nails his performance and Zooey Deschanel is excellent company.  They have wonderful onscreen chemistry.  It seems a bit of a different role for her (not the typical Manic Pixie Dream Girl role), but it works.  The supporting cast is small, but their scenes are wonderful.  Tom’s friends and sister, played by Geoffrey Arend, Matthew Gray Gubler, and Chloë Grace Moretz, add to Tom’s personality by creating a funny trio (sometimes quatro) of banter–a type of banter that we have all had with our friends and can easily relate to.  Clark Gregg’s portrayal of Tom’s boss is perfect.  At times, I wish I had such a pragmatic boss!  Talk about rolling with punches and playing to people’s strengths during a time of emotional turmoil.

The nonlinear structure definitely plays to the quality of the cinematography in a very positive manner.  Life is chaotic and doesn’t make sense, until you start to piece it together after the fact.  The cut of the movie accentuates this, which (again) furthers the relatability of the film.

Directing-wise, Marc Webb keeps things in focus when they could easily have gotten off track and into confusing tangents that would have been detrimental to the film.  His skill is definitely praiseworthy and on that note I will leave you with this:

Check out “(500) Days of Summer.”  It’s not your typical romantic comedy.  It’s something more.  Something to be covenanted and something to entertain ideals with in spare moments.  It’s a great film.  Even with my initial reaction I can say this comfortably.

Absolut Love

He felt more charming than the Prince and slicker than Fonzie’s hair.  He couldn’t put his Roxy fedora on fast enough before he hit the Jerry’s and Shasta.  That was the blue-eyed girl’s name, “Shasta.”  It was smooth and so was she.  She went down sweet like a Mio Sweet Tea.  She was concentrated and so was her screwdriver.  He’d jackknife just to reach where she was.  He was nervous, but he didn’t show it.  He brushed it off.  There’s no way he’d jump the shark tonight.  They chatted; they danced.  She twirled; he shuffled.  She got close.  He pulled her further.  He brushed his lips against her own.  Not quite a kiss, but with the screwdrivers twistin’ it certainly felt like one.  The lights flashed and flickered, the drinks kept coming, hours blurred by in a mere span of minutes. Blonde curly locks tumbled before he took a stumble.  He blushed, but blew it off.  He grabbed her by the waist and made a bee to the bar.  Shots were poured, shots were taken, another pair ordered up.  A little bass, a little banjo played in the fore—there was a new couple entrenched in their own lore.  A past stricken from the page is never truly stricken.  They each had their baggage.  They both tried to drop it off at the airlines, but that carousal always comes back around.  The two danced for years.  Their lips finally touched, and fireworks blossomed and crackled across the Vodka fueled fires.  The carry-ons slowly fell away, their passports became outdated, but no one cared.

The Soft Whisper of Vinyl

A crazy little flutter entrances the heart of the beholder.  It’s slight, almost mute by nature, but the beauty of her golden locks only accentuates the slight flush, as the words escape her pink lips.  The heart not only flutters or skips several beats, but it passes whole notes and sheets of musical inquiry.  The world stops only to notice the love shared between the two souls that not only share the depths of one’s eyes, but also the tangled strands that weave about between every sheet of music the graces their mantle.  The notes slide down these strands into the misshapen song that not only skips and scratches off of the perfect imperfection that is the vinyl of life but they also create a new song that can only be heard by the two that hear nothing more than the soft whisper of each other’s breath.


I do not live my life with many regrets…very few in fact.  This is not to say that I have lived life thus far more intelligently than most, rather the opposite.  I have made the same mistakes that my parents made, the same that my friends have made or are currently making, and some day my children will live through same trials, tribulations, and heartaches that everyone essentially lives through.  I suppose it is apart of the human experience.  No matter what station an individual is born into we all make the same basic mistakes and life choices.  We all lose a best friend, we all have our heart-broken, and we all say things we wish we had not uttered.

I do have one major regret in my life.  One that I lament upon mercilessly, whether my brain urges my heart to or not.  It is an error that I do not think I could even go back and change if time travel and God were willing to allow; I honestly believe that it was inevitable, and that no matter what decisions or paths chosen it would always result in the same way.

Today, I decided to clear away some bold boxes of mine from my parent’s basement and in amongst the refuse was a box of my old yearbooks (dating from my elementary school years at Adam’s Elementary all the way to the year I graduated at Cheney High).  They were scribbled with notes written in gel pens containing a myriad of jokes, jabs, and heartfelt messages from my friends over the years (none of which I converse with regularly anymore save for two), but the one that still hurts to this day is the loss of my best friend from junior high and high school.

We were close…like brothers.  We did everything together; we were inseparable for years.  During our senior year we had a falling out, like a lot of friends do in the final days leading up to their graduation ceremonies.  Our argument can be best described as trivial now, but at the moment…at the precipice of indecision and trust it seemed so valuable and important.  In retrospect it was meaningless; it was not worth our friendship, yet that was the cost.  I know he is doing all right (I occasionally check up on him through a friend of a friend), but it will never be the same without him.

He was my closest friend and I can’t help but miss him.

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