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67 of 72 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Boy meets girl...and the rule book gets torn up.
Before seeing this, I had already pigeon-holed this as the typical rom-com concept that's been flogged to death of late. Salvation I thought, may come in it's indie-like feel having seen a trailer. After going to 'keep the peace' with my girlfriend, I've come away very pleasently surprised.
The basic plotline of 'boy meets girl' may start the film, but a short way...
Published on 10 Sep 2009 by A Dawson

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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Little bit slow but good
This felt like a quirky French film to me, which I love. It was a little slow in places but overall enjoyable. Awesome soundtrack.

I like the way it was filmed, going back and forth, it made it more interesting. I'd recommend it to those who enjoy quirky films and who are looking for some entertainment. It's quite funny in places and worth a watch...
Published on 8 July 2010 by Amy Connolly


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67 of 72 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Boy meets girl...and the rule book gets torn up., 10 Sep 2009
This review is from: (500) Days of Summer [DVD] [2009] (DVD)
Before seeing this, I had already pigeon-holed this as the typical rom-com concept that's been flogged to death of late. Salvation I thought, may come in it's indie-like feel having seen a trailer. After going to 'keep the peace' with my girlfriend, I've come away very pleasently surprised.
The basic plotline of 'boy meets girl' may start the film, but a short way into it's running time, it's apparent this is going somewhere different.
The film's structure is all over the place chronologically. It's timeline moves back and forth with fevered intensity, but works all the better for it(Helpfully, for those not paying attention, each of the 500 days in question is numbered onscreen).
Refreshingly, much of the standard material normally seen in this sort of fare is missing.
Both leads are hugely appealing and likable, displaying believable chemistry together when scenes call for it.
The director, and the two screenwriters are male, which I found lent the Joseph Gordon Levitt's Tom the more sympathetic edge. Zooey Deschanel's title character Summer however, comes across as a representation of every woman man has failed to truely understand. Anyone who is a fan of author Mike Gayle, will find similarities of his work here.
For a film such as it is, the overall tone is decidedly pro male and ever so slightly dark, but don't let that put you ladies off. There are some nice moments of light comedy, and the 'morning after' scene is superb. Another, demonstrating a key moment with both 'expectation' and 'reality' using a splitscreen is particularly poignant. And somewhere buried in the material, yes, there is ultimately romance as well.
The soundtrack is excellent and subtley used, making a marked change from the likes of One Republic being blasted out.
I saw this in a screen packed with about 80% women, most of which seemed to to leave smiling, having enjoyed it immensely. Despite my initial protestations, I'm not ashamed to say it had the same affect on me.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Little bit slow but good, 8 July 2010
By 
Amy Connolly "book addict" (Scotland) - See all my reviews
(VINE VOICE)    (REAL NAME)   
This review is from: (500) Days of Summer [DVD] [2009] (DVD)
This felt like a quirky French film to me, which I love. It was a little slow in places but overall enjoyable. Awesome soundtrack.

I like the way it was filmed, going back and forth, it made it more interesting. I'd recommend it to those who enjoy quirky films and who are looking for some entertainment. It's quite funny in places and worth a watch.

It's a feel good movie despite the story line.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Is This Summer Blockbuster Love At First Sight?, 29 July 2012
Please note that this is a review of the film and not the Blu-Ray transfer. This also contains spoilers.

Let's get one thing straight from the start, (500) Days of Summer is not your average Hugh Grant, happily-ever-after romantic comedy flick. Like the tagline says, this is not a love story; this is a story about love. Director Marc Webb certainly knew what he was doing whevn he hired the two leading actors, Joseph Gordon-Levitt (Brick, Inception), who plays charming yet naïve Tom, and Zooey Deschanel (New Girl, The Happening) who takes the role of Summer, the strikingly beautiful yet quirky love-interest. The two have remarkable chemistry throughout the film, and many memorable moments that will jerk an emotion or two. The film's basic setting is perfect for the film; Los Angeles captures the troubles of a modern day relationship.
The film's structure is very unique, rather than following a linear A-to-B, start-to-finish motion, it chooses to show the audience Tom's time with Summer in a jittery, random timeline, starting with the day he meets her in his workplace, to the day when they finally say their goodbyes. This adds a certain level of fresh originality to the film; it almost feels like a light-hearted, cute version of Christopher Nolan's Memento. In some parts of the film, it shows the aftermath of a previous argument between the couple that has the audience has not seen yet, creating a sense of dramatic irony when the argument is finally shown. This keeps the viewer intrigued as to what will happen next in this rollercoaster/train wreck of a relationship between the couple.
The films soundtrack is second-to-none, featuring various indie artists such as The Smiths (of whom play a large part of Tom and Summer's relationship, including a well-known scene that takes place inside of an elevator), Regina Spektor and Mumm-Ra, to name a few. The score matches the films mood and indie attitude that the film contains, from soft and happy twee, to loud and unsettling indie rock. One memorable scene indicates when the real emotion comes into the film, during a scene which shows Tom's expectations and the reality of what is happening side by side, with Regina Spektor's haunting voice being played in the background, it's clear that this isn't going to be a happy ending.
The characters of Tom and Summer have been cast perfectly; Gordon-Levitt's performance in particular is astounding. Tom's character is very believable as he goes through the different stages of the film, we see him displaying a wide range of emotions from lust to love, and from envy to sorrow, Levitt pulled of the character flawlessly. Summer's character, played by Deschanel, is a little bit less impressive. I couldn't help think that throughout the film, Summer seemed very one-dimensional and bland. Whereas Tom goes through a whole cycle of emotions, Summer always sticks to the `I-don't-care' expression, even in particular scenes in which Summer is supposed to be genuinely happy and enjoying herself. The two's chemistry however, as I stated before, is incredible. From holding hands in Ikea to avoiding each other on a train, the two's relationship is so believable that you would have thought that it was genuinely happening. The couple's relationship is as believable as that of Jack and Rose from James Cameron's Titanic; it really is that good.
The supporting cast is also very good, from Chloë Moretz (Kick-Ass) as Tom's younger yet wiser sister, to Geoffrey Arand who plays his blunt yet comical best friend; these characters provide some much needed comic relief to the film. Whilst that's not to say that the film isn't humorous, I don't see the comedy as the main aspect of the film. The forced humour between Tom and Summer sometimes feels as though it was added in to keep that `rom-com' title. The film's romance is definitely there, but the comedy feels ever so slightly immature and sickly.
One particular scene involves Tom and Summer playing a game that Summer made up whilst having a romantic picnic. The aim of the game is to see who can shout the word `penis' the loudest. This gives us a clear indication of Summer's childishness and immaturity that will be a recurring theme throughout the majority of the film. Please don't think that I'm saying that all of their moments together are too try-hard.
(500) Days of Summer's story is a modern twist on the generic romantic comedy film. It does contain the age-old, `boy meets girl' story, but also contains `boy falls in love with girl, girl doesn't fall in love with boy'. Let me break down the story for you, Tom and Summer meet, Tom falls in love with Summer, Summer doesn't feel the same way but drags Tom along like a puppy, Tom realises that she doesn't love him, Summer leaves but Tom can't forget her. Keep in mind that this doesn't happen in that order during the film; however that is the chronological order of the film. The film's story is extremely powerful, with use of dramatic dialogue, perfect pace and a moving moral. If you've ever had to deal with rejection and/or heartbreak, this film will definitely force a tear or two.
Not everything about the story is perfect though. The motives of Summer can be quite questionable to say the very least, particularly towards the ending of the film's duration. During the latter half of the film, because of her actions, Summer can be seen as somewhat of an antagonist. Why Summer would leave Tom broken-hearted and a short while later have a husband is unanswered and quite bewildering.
The cinematography is superb in the film, the lighting is highly suitable in specific parts of the film, for example the setting is bright and cheerful during the happy parts of the film, and during more dark and moody parts, the lighting really captures the sadness that the characters are going through. The pace of the film is well done, whilst I mentioned that the film plays in random part of Tom's and Summer's relationship, it does this is a smart and clever way as it never gives away large parts of the plot and twists of their relationship, but it also manages to keep you interested in where their relationship will head next. A clever use of this is at a point about half way in the film which shows Tom going into an elevator on the `morning-after', looking smart and having a smile on his face, we then see the transition to him getting out of the elevator about a month later looking miserable and dirty.
Marc Webb has certainly made a fine film here, and it will easily be regarded as one of the best indie films of the decade, by the hipsters and the mainstream audience alike. The perfect combination of mood and comedy creates a balance of superb film making that shows how cool and slick films can be. I personally thoroughly enjoyed this film, most of the aspects of this film are perfect, there are just a few niggles that needed to be ironed out. If you're coming into this film expecting a happy and romantic chick-flick, you will be disappointed with this film, however as its own genre, it is a truly fantastic film.
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4.0 out of 5 stars “…A Story About Love…” - (500) Days Of Summer on BLU RAY, 16 Feb 2014
By 
Mark Barry "Mark Barry" - See all my reviews
(VINE VOICE)    (HALL OF FAME REVIEWER)    (TOP 50 REVIEWER)   
30-something wannabe architect Tom Hansen (Joseph Gordon-Levitt) has worked for 4 long years in a Los Angeles greeting card company as a slogan writer dreaming of love that somehow seems to elude him. Enter a new ‘average girl’ employee – the heart stopping bug-eyed Summer Finn (Zooey Deschanel) whose very presence can make ice-cream sales increase and add value to unsellable real estate. Everything about Summer is magical and Tom’s gone-baby-gone in a heartbeat ("This is not good!" his friend quite rightly muses). And therein lies the problem. New Jersey Tom doesn’t just want Summer Finn as a friend...he’s thinking Soul Mate - when maybe Michigan’s finest isn’t thinking anything of the sort…

Possessed of a freshness and wit that is so often replaced with crudity in modern world rom-coms (especially those hoping to be hip, happening and hitting the zeitgeist) – "(500) Days Of Summer" is exceptional is so many ways. It's lol funny a great deal of the time – visually surprising – beautifully cast and above all just keeps you watching and enjoying right up until its unexpected and satisfying end. Even movie clichés like the dweeb friends to the lead character (superb turns by Geoffrey Arend and Matthew Grey Gubler as McKenzie and Paul) and the smart-arsed child (a droll and grown up performance by tiny Chloe Grace Moretz as his younger sister Rachel) are given such great lines that you’re too busy enjoying yourself to notice piddly little things like time passing. Characters play The Smiths on their Walkman’s, wear Joy Division teeshirts to work, quote Sid Vicious at dinner, want to buy Octopus’s Garden in record shops and even quote Henry Miller for solace (title above). This is a very cool and likeable movie.

It also uses the brilliant device of an intermittent screen page that tells you which day number we’re on (flicking up and down like a counter clock). If we’re on Day 36 then love is all happy-wappy and new with chirping animated birds and gymnastic sex in showers. But if we’re on Day 329 then the boredom and suffocation on her part has set in - and friendship let alone love is fading fast. Many of the very funny earlier sequences explaining their upbringings are also accompanied by the dry-as-a-cactus-root droll voiceover of Richard McGonagle having a Stephen Fry type hoot with statistics on men, women, shoe size and fate. There’s even a song and dance sequence – a truly life-enhancing infectious sketch played out to the magically upbeat "You Make My Dreams" by Hall & Oates (1981) which is the kind of cinematic genius that is guaranteed to put a smile on the most miserable of mutts.

Defaulted to 2:40.1 Aspect Ratio – the BLU RAY image can be stretched to 16 x 9 without any degradation and is frequently beautiful (especially when Tom shows Summer the beautiful lesser-known architectural wonders of L.A.). There are good extras too:

1. Deleted and Extended Scenes
2. Bank Dance – A feature on the scene choreographed to the Hall & Oates song (as mentioned above)
3. Mean’s Cinemash: Sid And Nancy/(500) Days Of Summer
4. A Music Video to "Sweet Disposition" by Temper Trap
5. Conversations with Lead Actors Levitt and Deschanel
6. A DVD which includes a DIGITAL COPY of the film

Brilliantly written by Scott Neustadter with Michael H. Weber and deftfully Directed by Marc Webb – "(500) Days Of Summer)" isn’t going to send Oscar committees into raptures – but it should.

The movie’s blurb tells us "This is not a love story – but a story about love…" Well if the story of our hopes and dreams is told this well - then count me in…
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20 of 24 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars The tagline is true, 12 Feb 2010
By 
This review is from: (500) Days of Summer [DVD] [2009] (DVD)
This is not a love story. This is a story about love.

Exactly right. Forget your Hugh Grants, your comic misunderstandings, boy meets girl, loses her, gets her back with the help of some wacky friends (usually gay) while living in an extremely white version of London or painfully cool New York type of romcom. 500 Days...is a true and funny (not to mention sometimes uncomfortable) look at relationships and their difficulties.

It has to be said, this is much more from the man's POV than usual romcoms. As such, Summer doesn't come off as 100% likeable but then why should she? She's a well drawn character, not something out of a Richard Curtis film. In any case, I'd recommend this to blokes if they want to laugh at themselves, and recommend it to women who want a better understanding of their men.

Put it this way: I laughed more than my wife did. And my favourite film is Night of the Living Dead.
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1.0 out of 5 stars My actual rating is 1 star for the cynics of the world and 4 stars for everyone else., 30 Aug 2014
This review is from: 500 Days of Summer (DVD)
I wouldn't have watched this except that I read a misleading review mentioning that this exposes the trope of the Manic Pixie Dream Girl (which also mentioned 'Eternal Sunshine...' which I love). And having watched it I personally regret the time wasted and the feeling I now have of 90 minutes of nails running down a blackboard.

Don't get me wrong, this isn't a badly made film and I'm sure many, many people will love it and I don't begrudge any of them that pleasure. The problem (for me) is that it's not as clever as it thinks it is and the explorations of ideas like 'expectation' vs 'reality', while well intended, are offset by patronising tropes it DOESN'T criticise (like the mystically prescient schoolkid or the childishly happy ending). I'm not against things turning out well for protagonists, but... I won't spoil the ending for those who'll watch it anyway.

A lot of people criticise modern Hollywood for playing to the lowest common denominator but I like it - it's unpretentious entertainment. If I want an intelligent analysis of love and relationships then I'll read Jean Paul Sartre's 'Intimacy' or at least watch a film by the French New Wave. While I'm on the topic, the film-makers' ideas about what 'love' is is very narrow and immature. Here's another recommendation - 'Amour' by Haneke.
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Unconventional Rom-com, 5 Jan 2012
By 
Rachel Holton (Glasgow) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: (500) Days of Summer [DVD] [2009] (DVD)
To be honest, when I went to the cinema to see this I was skeptical at first. Expecting the usual cliche ridden rom com I was delighted when this turned to be very unique and funny. I loved how the love story was told through the guys eyes for a change, especially as the character Tom is extremely likable. The whole vibe of the film is very indie/retro so if that's your style, this is for you. However, the reach goes farther than the hipster crowd as the story and characters are down to earth and fun. I keep coming back to this film and it's now one of my very favourites. I highly recommend it.
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars For anyone who has been the jilted lover or the jilted lovers friend, 5 Jun 2012
By 
Lark (North Coast of Ireland) - See all my reviews
(TOP 500 REVIEWER)   
This review is from: (500) Days of Summer [DVD] [2009] (DVD)
This movie is an engaging story of one mans romantic misadventures, while it would appear to recommend itself to most strongly as a "chick flick" the movie's central protagonist is a man and his trials and travils in seeking romance I think would resonate with any thinking man too.

The film is a chronicle of 500 days spent with or related to the female love interest Summer, there's the awkward beginnings of the relationship and our male protagonist criss crosses through despair, new hopes, obsessiveness and real crankiness.

There is some reflection throughout, when our hero speaks with friends, a wisened younger female character too (the actress from Kick Ass) and while he is sympathetic throughout it is played with the right amount of whiney and obsessive character so that it is obvious to the watcher just why our protagonist is being rejected and will be.

His feelings of persecution or being wronged are totally misplaced and it is pointed out to him that he is unfair in feeling that way and projecting a lot of hostility in the direction of Summer, who has not misled him at any point.

Depending on what you think about the feature it could be a happily ever after story in which experience provides insight and everyone moves on. Or it could be depicting a terrible sort of cycle which one person is going to experience and re-experience with different people. I felt that it was suggesting that when disappointment intrudes upon hopes of love and romance that you dont throw out the baby with the bathwater and give up on love and romance per se because on this one occasion it hasnt worked out. Other conclusions could be drawn I guess.

It is a slightly more sophisticated version of Friends With Benefits [DVD] [2011], at least in so far as it deals with similar themes and is also in keeping with a kind of role reversal I see in movies now, with male leads struggling with unavailable or non-commital female muses. I dont know if that is actually reflective of society at large or refletive of the viewing tastes of a particular public.

It isnt a romcom, if there are laughs they are not belly laughs but merely amusement. The additional features which are extended and deleted scenes for the most part, do add to the feature but watch them afterwards rather than before the feature because they wont make sense and will ruin it for you.
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8 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Lovin' Summer, 26 Jan 2010
By 
Mr. Od Smith "d2kvirus" (Coulsdon, Surrey) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: (500) Days of Summer [DVD] [2009] (DVD)
I'll be honest: I'm not exactly a romantic comedy aficionado, so on the surface that would imply - or you'd presume - that I'm not the sort of person who'd watch 500 Days of Summer, let alone enjoy it.

However, 500 Days... isn't a mere rom com, and certainly doesn't follow the usual route of boy meets girl (etc etc) like you'd expect from a rom com: in this case, boy meets girl, boy falls in love with girl...but girl isn't interested in anything more than a casual fling, whilst he wants far more from their relationship, believing her to be The Girl For Him.

Rather than following the relationship from start to finish, 500 Days... shows their relationship ending before we even see them meet, and from then on skips between key dates, where things are good, things are bad, and things from one time affect another, or clearly aren't as good as they weren't before. In doing this, not only do we see the rose-tinted version of the relationship Tom believes he had, but also the reasons it didn't work out, or wasn't as good as he first assumed. As a result, we see Tom sink into depression - especially when he discovers Summer has gone back on her no commitment policy.

Joseph Gordon-Levitt carries the film as Tom, demonstrating once again that he's such an underrated actor, at one time a happy-go-lucky guy in a frustrating job, another time happy in love with Summer, and others angry at her lack of commitment to him or despondent at their breakup. At no point does he come across as obnoxious or whiny, instead like so many people at a loss when the relationship they thought was perfect has ended, and wasn't really that perfect. Equally good is Zooey Deschanel as Summer, making a role that could turn the audience against her, and instead making her bewitching and understandable, albeit retaining an air of the unknown, which is what makes her so captivating to Tom.

The writing is spot-on, balancing the comedy and some flights of fancy that come with being loved-up (Tom's song and dance number) as well as the feeling of utter dejection when you find you lost your chance of happiness, and by placing them in close context makes Tom that much more sympathetic, even when he mopes around in a lake of self-pity, despite his friend's best efforts to cheer him up. There's also a great soundtrack, including both Tom and Summer's shared love of The Smiths, and a great use of Mumm-Ra's She's Got You High to end the film on a more positive note.

In other words, a film that manages to convey the ups and downs of true love - or something you think is true love - which manages to show both the very real lows alongside the equally real highs, and be one of the most enjoyable films of the last year. Worth watching. Worth watching indeed.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Summer has arrived!, 27 July 2012
This review is from: (500) Days of Summer [DVD] [2009] (DVD)
This movie is all about two people. Summer and Tom. They meet at a greeting card office where Tom has been working for a couple of years before Summer joins. He knows, or, at least, thinks, she is 'the one'.
This is very clever in the storyline and the characters are perfect. This was a real heart-throb for me. I thoroughly enjoyed the actors ability and the love shared throughout. Be warned;
This is a story about love. This is not a love story.
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(500) Days of Summer [DVD] [2009]
(500) Days of Summer [DVD] [2009] by Marc Webb (DVD - 2010)
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