Saturday, December 26, 2009

500 Days of Summer

500 Days of Summer was released in Canada on July 17, 2009. The lead roles are filled by a couple of unknowns in Joseph Gordon-Levitt, for whom this is the first real role, and Zooey Deschanel, who we may or may not remember from Yes Man. Ironically, a couple of the supporting roles are more recognizable with Matthew Gray Gubler from Criminal Minds and Geoffrey Arend, whose face we recognize from a collection of bit parts.

The plot of 500 Days is not exactly brand new material. A couple of young adults develop a relationship. He is an idealist romantic, and she apparently does not believe in true love or defined relationships. Needless to say, their hopes for the relationship are conflictual and make for an entertaining, if not uplifting, 95 minutes or so. The characters are quirky, and feel like you might know them from somewhere. You won't sit enthralled, waiting for the next turn in this one. But it is a pleasant enough tale, laced with enough honesty to make it realistic.

This flick was pegged to be another summer romantic comedy... and it was that. But somewhere along the way, it started to get some Oscar attention. It may have been that Gordon-Levitt kicked some butt in his role. Or maybe it was the sharp screenplay. The directorship was impressive, even if this is not likely Best Picture material and therefore, almost certainly, not Best Director material. But even this is debatable with a wider field of Best Picture nominees this year. I also loved the music in this flick, and thought it was a case of mood really being impacted by musical choices.

500 Days of Summer is a bit of a surprise, and no one will be so struck by this movie as to talk about it a couple of years from now. But it is well done, and entertaining for the casual viewer... and by now it is even available to rent. Worth the watch.

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