500 days of Summer: Film Review


Written by Kerry Reid – Student Writer

First off, it’s a classic “girl meets boy” romcom where inevitably the 2 protagonists meet and begin a relationship. However, where the film veers off from the all too familiar romcom storyline is that it valiantly declares in the opening scene that this is “NOT a love story”. Instead, it’s about a failed love story. The “girl” in the doomed mix is played by Zooey Deschanel who is idiosyncratic to say the least. Yet, despite having an unusual edge, the actor fails to portray a women with anything more than a few annoying characteristics and as a result is a petulant being who’s a serious commitment phobe- she repeatedly declares that she refuses to believe in love. In stark contrast, Joseph Gordan Levitt plays the man who is irrevocably a believer in love- that is until, Deschanel works her moody magic.

Like so many relationships do, Summer’s and Tom’s crashed and burned in a snarky style with Tom classically negatively reinterpreting features that he once found love inducing- her “heart shaped birthmark” morphed into “cockroach shaped birthmark”, whilst her “knobbly knees” once were once loved by Tom.

Possibly the best decision of the film was to employ a disordered story line in which the “days of summer” jump seemingly at random in order to give you an overall view of the relationship. This, in contrast to the classic film where you forget what the character was like at the start and how things happened over time is a refreshing portrayal of a relationship.

Yet another successful choice which certainly helped the film along was the music choice which varies pleasantly. Mirroring the films skittish order- or lack of- the soundtrack alters between “The Smiths” which the leads bond over, to the triumphant “you make my dreams” through which an exultant Tom dances his way to work.

All in all, the film is decent. Its strengths being the unusual take on the classic rom com scene. However, Deschanel’s performance is flat to say the least and her sulky character doesn’t help her out there. Although the foreshadowed sequel of 500 days of Autumn would without doubt flop to the highest extent, for arguments sake I would be intrigued to sit through it- if not to find out Tom’s fate, then at least to have a chance to observe Joseph Gordon Levitt in Toms role in the absence of Deschanel.

Kerry Reid
Author: Kerry Reid

Oxford Brookes uni student whose favourite thing in the world is watching tv and films.