This is a very special film for me. It’s one of the films I have seen countless times and something that I watch over and over, always finding something new to warm my insides or get butterflies in my belly.
Architecture is a common theme throughout the film. Tom could have been doing anything — painting, making ceramic pots, designing goddamn clothes. Instead, they gave way to some uniquely gorgeous scenes and perspectives. Tom being an architect made all of us watch the surroundings differently — and for me, well, it was what made me start looking up. And it is a whole new world up there.
500 Days of Summer was my first introduction to Joseph Gordon-Levitt and of course, I fell in love with him. Unlike Zooey Deschanel, who is cute, but only has one look to her, Levitt is incredible. He’s so subtle. He gives Tom this charm that makes us forget how naive he is and wraps us around his — or perhaps his character’s — finger. And I’m totally cool with it.
One of the most famous sequences from the film uses split-screen. Split-screen can work, but it’s not easy to make it so. Here, we have loud music and sound from both screens all at once, but instead of being cluttered, it feels natural and makes the situation completely come to life.
the ikea scene
As much shit as there is with this particular love story, there are lovely moments, too. Tom and Summer browsing through Ikea as if it was their home is one of the sweetest and funniest scenes, one that is very hard to forget.
epic dancing in the streets
Tom is so happy, how could I not be??
The narrator who leads us through this film is like a witty grandfather who watches kids play and gives his opinion without judgement, but with wisdom, not interfering at all. He is all I wouldn’t know I wanted if he was omitted. I love that guy.
In one of the first scenes in the film, a friend of Tom’s says Summer is a dude. See, she doesn’t want a boyfriend. This is unintelligible for both Tom and his friend. I think it’s unintelligible for many people in the world, and I’d say one of the reasons 500 Days of Summer is dubbed as an original romantic comedy is that we’ve seen guy-Summer a lot, usually as the previous boyfriend to the main female character. Summer is a jerk, but that doesn’t have anything to do with breaking Tom’s heart — she says it right from the start. She’s not looking for anything serious yet. And I think this is really interesting and makes this film so worth watching.
The sense of humor that Tom and Summer have is fantastic on its own, but we also get outside humor. “They used to call me Anal Girl” pretty much sets the mood in the very beginning and it’s never lame or crude, but resonates perfectly with me. Not always light, but always what I need watching this film.
Author’s Note: The following is a work of fiction. Any resemblance to persons living or dead is purely coincidental. Especially you Jenny Beckman. Bitch.
Well, didn’t that intrigue me from the start…
As Tom chases after Summer, hits and misses time and time again, his friends are always there, sometimes more annoyed, sometimes less. They are hilarious and adorable. Tom deserves them.
the non-linear narrative
This is something that really sets this film apart from others. We never get to experience anything like Tom or Summer did, but we get to see their story unroll in a much more interesting way. It’s created beautifully. There is no better word for it.
Once on vacation, I sat in the sun for two hours and listened this film’s soundtrack from beginning to end and quite honestly, it is a perfect recap of the film. Every piece of music is not only picked perfectly for the scenes but are also great songs. Carla Bruni, Regina Spektor, Simon & Garfunkel and The Smiths all fit in there and make this film feel like home even without watching.
We’re shown, not told, about how both Tom and Summer grow up as the opening credits roll. We get a background story that doesn’t feel like a waste of time or as something to skip. And Regina Spektor’s Us makes it all the more perfect.
You have to remember this scene. (I’ve played this a few times and it’s as uncomfortable and liberating as it looks.)
A stroke of pure genius.
the silent film
When I saw the film first, I had no idea what was Persona or who was Bergman. But even without knowing them, I loved this addition as one of the things that so well and sadly showed us how depressed Tom was over Summer.
Tom singing karaoke
This was so cool! Tom is great, but a drunk Tom is even better. And funnier.
lovesick Tom complaining to his blind date
“She took a giant shit on my face. Literally.”
“Well, no, not literally. That’s disgusting. What’s wrong with you?”
I don’t think I’ll ever get over this.
This is an important thing! At one and a half hours, this film is perfect to fit in anywhere. It’s sweet and funny and extremely well-made and there is so much beauty to look at. Even some lessons to be learned.
I hate sad endings. I don’t like admitting it as happy endings are seen as clichés so often, but I never really get rid of the feeling of betrayal when a film doesn’t tie up nicely — literally. Especially when it’s a romantic comedy. There has to be hope, and here it is. We can all hope that Autumn is less of a bitch than Summer was, and that Tom’s brains have toughened up a bit.
So, what do you think of (500) Days of Summer and Joseph Gordon-Levitt? It is as rewatchable for you as it is for me?