I am a sucker for comedies, especially (good) romantic comedies, and cleverly written comedies that have something to think about in them.
(500) Days of Summer checks all my boxes. Though it is a comedy and it involves romance, I’d hardly call it a romantic comedy. If anything, it’s an autopsy on a relationship that didn’t work out. But it’s not a downer of a film – far from it.
It’s well written, cleverly directed, and very well acted. Joseph Gorden-Levitt (whom before Inception came out you probably only recognized from Third Rock from the Sun) does a great job. It’s funny how he looks EXACTLY the same as he did as a kid on Third Rock, yet he has the makings of an accomplished adult actor.
Zooey Denchanel is utterly adorable and her character is complex and believable. At every stage, from when our hero remembers the past with rose tinted glasses to when he sees the signs that were there all along, she strikes us as a woman who could easily have been one of our own failed relationships (yeah right, we should be so lucky).
In some ways this reminds me of a modern Breakfast At Tiffany’s, but without the tacked on happy ending for the two leads – though there is a happy ending, and it’s a far more believable one. This is about the expectations we have when we’re looking for someone, and how we try to reconcile them with reality.
Next time you feel like watching an utterly predictable rom-com staring the next Meg Ryan or Sandra Bullock, consider renting this movie first. It might give you some perspective.