IFFB Review – “[500] Days Of Summer”

500DaysOfSummer_filmstill1_JoesephGordonLevit [500] Days Of Summer
Fox Searchlight
Starring Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Zooey Deschanel, Jeffrey Arend, Matthew Gray Gubler, Chloe Moretz

Screened at the 2009 Independent Film Festival of Boston

This is the story of two people, and as the tagline states, "Boy Meets
Girl. Boy Falls In Love. Girl Doesn't". You can't get much simpler than
that, folks. And you shouldn't have to.

Joseph Gordon-Levitt stars as Tom, a young greeting card writer who becomes hopelessly smitten with his boss' new assistant (Zooey DeSchanel)
the second he sees her. Tom is someone who believes you won't truly be
happy until you find "the one". And he's convinced that Summer is the
one. But Summer isn't interested in "true love", which she says doesn't
exist. But she and Tom do hook up with one another. They first become
friends when Summer hears The Smiths coming out of Tom's
headset in the elevator, and as the days turn into weeks, and weeks
turn into months, Tom is convinced he's found the one he's been
searching for. Then one day, out of the blue, Summer tells Tom that she
thinks they should stop seeing each other. And from that day forward,
Tom's life is dark and dreary.

Yes, folks,it IS a comedy. And a damn funny one – in fact, it is without a doubt the funniest movie I've seen in several years.

Told in non-linear fashion, bouncing to and fro through each numbered
day of their time together (or apart), with narration in places, each
sequence helps us to get to know both characters and how each of them
sees life. Tom sees it as ordered and structured if a bit depressing,
Summer as each day having its own free spirit, never to be captured
again. Obviously, these two were probably never meant to be
together…but the story of how they came together and apart is worth
seeing – funny, enchanting, frustrating…and delightful.

Gordon-Levitt, one of my all-time favorite young actors, shines like
never before here, capturing every nuance of Tom Hanson – his delight,
his insecurity, his love, his frustration, and brings each emotion home
to ground level. DeSchanel captures Summer's carefree attitude about
life, her own inner demons, and her passiveness beautifully. They make
magic together when on screen, and their supporting cast is there to
make it even better.  Moretz, as Tom's 12 year old sister, is far wiser
about life than her much older brother, and shows it whenever she gets
a chance. Always there for him to turn to for advice and support,
Moretz is a scene stealer that we should all keep an eye on.  And Arend
and Gubler, as Tom's two best friends, are there to either support him
or try and talk sense into him when Summer has him completely crazy,
and they do so with the love and support best friends should have.

Without a doubt, [500] Days Of Summer is destined to be
one of the critical hits of the year. It's quaint little charm will
slowly invade your psyche and continue to press through as you think
about the movie from beginning to end, and very likely will make you
want to see it again.  I wanted to see it again almost
immediately…and i've got quite a wait – it doesn't hit theaters until
July 17th. That's the bad thing about festivals, they can tease you for
MONTHS before a general release…

If there's only one smaller indie you can see this year, you have no decision to make – this one is IT.

My Score: 5 stars (out of 5)