Movie Review: 500 Days of Summer

February 16, 2022

I have been watching some old-school movies lately (The Truman Show, Forrest Gump, Notting Hill). This title was up on the list, because I realized I have always known the movie just by name and I don't really know the story. So, a day before Valentine's day, I was in the mood for some chick-flick. Well, surprise surprise, the narrator said it upfront at the start of the movie - this is not a love story.

Well now I know why this was such a hit back then. Here are some of the things that really stood out for me in this movie.

The Actors
Joseph Gordon-Levitt and Zooey Deschanel are such lookers and they both look perfect together in this movie. Their acting is so on point (especially Joseph) and sure I ended up rooting for one of them (more on that later πŸ˜‰). And then there's young ChloΓ« Grace Moretz, one of my favorite actresses.

The Storytelling
The manner the story was laid out was very unique. Connecting it with the title, the audience can connect the dots: Summer is a person and 500 is the number of days they have been together. The scenes jump back and forth in time as we go through the events of their love affair. It was a rollercoaster ride because we are taken back-to-back to the highs and lows of their relationship. Also, can I just mention that "expectation vs reality" sequence? It was executed so well. πŸ‘©‍πŸ³πŸ’‹

The Soundtrack
I love how the movie is just loaded with fantastic songs! They complemented the mood of the scenes well. I can't stop listening to the songs. 

The Takeaway
I have been thinking about this movie since finishing it days ago, and I can't really get my hands on the message of the movie. But one thing's for sure: I'm devastated for Tom. Clearly he loved Summer so much. I was grappling to understand why the relationship didn't work for them. I went on Reddit to see what the others thought of the movie. I was surprised with the differing opinions. Interestingly, I read several comments wherein they said their interpretation changed whenever they rewatched the movie during different stages of their life. One notable remark was: initially when he (or she?) watched it after a bad breakup, he connected more with Tom, and really hated Summer. Then, when watching it again after a mutual breakup, he understood the dynamics of the relationship in the movie and felt neutral, thinking no one was at fault between Tom and Summer... they just weren't on the same page with the relationship. Until now I'm still confused with Summer's thinking process, but I guess I would get to understand it more if I have personal experience with these things. πŸ˜…

Here are some more of my thoughts about the film:
  • Nostalgia was real with this movie. Yes, there was that time people gave each other greeting cards. Remember Hallmark? Oh apparently the brand is still alive today!
  • That scene when they were watching a movie, and Summer was crying her eyes out. The movie showed a newly-wed couple in the back of a car, waving back happily to their friends and relatives, but when they faced forward a few seconds after, their expressions changed into sadness or fear. I don't know, that scene struck me in a different way.
  • Joseph Gordon-Levitt is handsome. He would surely be my office crush if he was my colleague. πŸ˜†
Well, I'm just glad that the movie ended on a happier and hopeful note for Tom. I guess that's the reality of life after a breakup-- we move on, and when we are ready, a new love comes into our life. At this point in my life, I'm siding with Tom. But let's see. I might rewatch this after a few years and see if my opinion would change. 😊

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