Cody - (500) Days of Summer stars Joseph Gordon-Levitt as Tom, a greeting card writer who becomes infatuated with a fellow coworker Summer, played by ZooeyDeschanel. This film charts the 500 days of their relationship from Tom’s perspective.
Ellie - On a whole, I enjoyed this movie for its story telling, if not for the story itself. It has many of the pieces that constitute a traditional romantic film such as boy meets girl, boy falls for girl, boy loses girl, however, unlike a traditional romance- boy does not win girl back. There are also some very traditional fairy tale elements included in the film; the search for his one true love, a spontaneous dance sequence, the animated bird, and even the wise sounding omnipotent narrator, all to add further contrast to the fact that this is not a traditional romance.
Cody – This film really did an excellent job in breaking the format of the typical romantic comedy. . This film breaks the trend by communicating early on how it will end; there will only be 500 days of Summer, with no fairy-tale ending. Rather than following the typical romantic comedy blueprint, this film simply tells a coming of age story from Tom’s point of view. While the movie focuses on his romantic endeavours, its goal is to showcase a pivotal period in the life of Tom, and how he copes with it. It is much more of a coming-of-age story than it is a romance. (500) Days of Summer also does a terrific job communicating the story non-linearly. The plot takes place over a 500 day span, during which many different events take place, and many diverse emotions are felt by Tom. This film excels in transitioning between the high and low points of this period in Tom’s life, and the scene arrangement helps to gauge the relationship between Tom and Summer.
Ellie - It really can be tricky to tell a non-linear story, but (500) Days of Summer manages pull it off while adding even more depth to the narrative. I particularly loved the shot of expectation vs. reality. Both are individually beautiful but played out side by side they are wonderful. The shot of expectation played out the way a standard romance might have, while the shot of reality showed exactly that- reality. It illustrated what would most likely have occurred if this were a relationship in real life.
Cody - This movie does a great job in showcasing that a relationship is not a constant; it is constantly evolving and changing, and can be drastically altered in a short period of time. While many elements of the film worked well, I feel that the film failed in expanding the character of Summer. Tom is the main character of the film, and rightfully so dominates the screen in terms of dissecting his character’s backgrounds and motivation. However, it fails to truly explain who Summer is as a person. We learn about Tom’s family and friends, his ambition to become an architect, and his favourite spot in the world. But Summer is never truly fleshed out as a character – she is simply a symbol for Tom’s desire to achieve happiness.
Ellie - Tom and Summer both had their moments, but I did not particularly enjoy this movie for more than the cinematography. I found Tom’s all‑consuming interest in Summer to be a turn off. He was building his world around Summer and expected her to fall into place within it. I am a sucker for a good romance, but Tom’s attentions for Summer left me feeling flat. I felt that he was more concerned with how he felt about Summer than learning how she felt towards him. Yes, he wanted her to love him back, but only because he deserved her love in return for how much he loved her. Ultimately this film offers a new look at a love story, but fails to truly garner support from this viewer with its lack of honest affection.
Cody – 7/10
Ellie – 6/10