Release Date: July 17th, 2009
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Tom Hanson(Joseph Gordon-Levitt) is a young man working for a greeting card company. Tom's life is mediocre with hanging out with his roommates and going to karaoke clubs comprising a good portion of his day to day life. Tom doesn't have a bad life, just a normal, uneventful, unexciting one. But all that changes when Tom is in a typical meeting at work. While in the meeting, Tom's boss Vance(Clark Gregg) introduces his new assistant Summer Finn(Zooey Deschanel). From first glance, Tom is infatuated with Summer. Tom believes in true love, love at first site, and all the other things that go along with it and believes that he has found the girl of his dreams in Summer. Tom wants to make an approach on Summer until his roommate and co-worker McKenzie(Geoffrey Arend) tells him that Summer is unapproachable, that the last guy in the office to do it couldn't even get a second look. At this news, Tom becomes irritated and decides to put Summer behind him until the two bump in to each other on the elevator where they exchange conversation about liking the band Smiths. At this instant, To believes Summer to be "the one".
Tom spends the next two weeks trying to initiate something between him and Summer with most of his attempts ending in an awkward fail. When all seems lost, McKenzie tells Tom about an after work party at a local karaoke bar where the entire office is going, including Summer. Tom arrives at the bar to find McKenzie on stage singing. While watching Tom is approached by Summer, who is happy he decided to come. The two begin talking until Summer is called up on stage to sing. Afterward Summer gets Tom a little drunk and convinces him to get up and sing to which he agrees. After he is done, the three of them sit down and talk about life, relationships and love which Tom and Summer disagree on. Tom believes that there is such a thing as love where Summer doesn't believe in it. The two agree to disagree and decide to leave. While Tom is helping a very drunk McKenzie into a cab, McKenzie bursts out to Summer that Tom likes her. After some persuading from Summer, Tom reveals that he does in fact like her but tacks on an "as friends" to the end of it. Summer tells Tom that she thinks he is very interesting and leaves Tom on the sidewalk. The next day at work, Summer and Tom are in the copy room together when Summer kisses Tom. The two passionately kiss until Summer's copies are finished at which point she just leaves him there by himself.
The two begin spending a lot of time together, going around and having fun in the city with Summer sharing some of her most intimate secrets with Tom and Tom taking Summer to his favorite spot in the city. While there, Tom explains to Summer how he was studying to become an architect until he ran out of money and had to quit school and get a job at the card company to sustain himself. One day, as the two walk around Ikea, they begin to play and joke as if they were a married couple in the many Ikea show rooms. When the two fall in a bed together the two go to kiss when Summer tells Tom that she isn't looking for anything serious. They go back to Tom's apartment and start making out in Tom's bed when Tom excuses himself to the bathroom. While in there, Tom reassures himself that it is just casual fun and to take things slow. But things change when he comes out of the bathroom to find Summer naked in his bed. The next day, Tom has a new skip in his step and feels like life couldn't get any better.
Things start going well for a few weeks until Summer and Tom are at a bar where a slightly drunk man approaches the two and starts hitting on Summer. Summer makes it clear to the man that she is not interested which he doesn't believe. When Tom interjects, the man begins to laugh and can not believe that she is dating Tom. Tom gets up and punches the guy in the face. Tom then flashes an awkward smile at Summer before the man gets up and beats up Tom. The two go back to Summer's apartment where Summer yells at Tom saying he wasn't acting cool at all and that the only reason he hit that guy was for himself. Tom begins arguing back saying he did that for her and that even though she doesn't want to label things that they are in a relationship and that the things they do with each other isn't just a friendship. When they are done Tom storms out in anger. While the two at at their respective apartments, Tom debates calling Summer but decides against it. Summer comes to his apartment where she apologizes for everything. The two have a long discussion about their past relationships and the two seem happy.
Over the next few weeks, things start to get good again. Tom and Summer start hanging out more and they go to the movies. While at the movies seeing The Graduate, Summer begins to cry at the scene where Dustin Hoffman and Katherine Ross flee their wedding and their looks of joy and excitement slowly fade. After the movie, Summer tells Tom that she is tired and wants to sleep but Tom convinces her to go get pancakes with him. While at the restaurant, Summer tells Tom that they should stop seeing each other. Taken aback by this sudden statement, Tom asks why they should if they are both so happy. Summer explains that she isn't happy and as the pancakes come, Tom gets up and leaves as Summer yells for him to stop saying that they are still best friends. Tom returns to his apartment where he begins breaking his plates over the counter in a catatonic state. His friends call the only person they could think of to help, Tom's little sister Rachel(Chloe Moretz). Rachel rides her bike to Tom's apartment where she sits him down and tells him to explain to her what is going on. Tom recounts the breakup with Summer and explains vehemently that he doesn't want to get over her but to get her back.
As his depressed state worsens, his work becomes affected. Tom's boss calls him into his office one day asking him if everything is ok and asking if his recent state as anything to do with Summer leaving. Tom denies that it has anything to do with Summer to which his boss interjects saying that everybody in the office knew about them. As the months pass, one of Tom's co-workers is getting married. On the train to the wedding, Tom passes Summer, who is in the same car. Tom pretends not to notice Summer who notices him and walks up to talk to him. The two begin talking and go into one of the cars to have coffee. Tom and Summer spend the entire weekend together and Tom asks Summer to dance at the wedding. She agrees and the two have a very romantic night together. The next day, Summer invites Tom to a party at her apartment buildings roof. Tom agrees, hopeful that this will reunite them. While on his way to the party, Tom is imagining his dream night and hoping to match it up to reality.
At the party, Tom quickly realizes that his dream night is nowhere in site. Summer barely talks to him and Tom's only company seems to be a bottle of alcohol. But things get worse when Tom sees Summer showing one of her friends an engagement ring and introducing her fiance. Furious, Tom leaves without a word. Tom spends the next five days staying in his apartment like a zombie, only leaving one time to buy orange juice, Twinkies, and Jack Daniels. By the time Tom returns to work, it is time for the weekly meeting. Halfway through the meeting of presentations for new card ideas, Tom realizes that his beliefs on love, life and relationships is wrong. He stands up and delivers a passionate speech about how the company he works for is feeding people lies about how life and love is. After his speech, Tom quits and leaves as the room is left stunned. As his depression worsens, Rachel tells Tom to seriously look back on his and Summer's relationship[p and to notice the bad things.
After this, Tom begins to take up architecture again, trashing his apartment and using his walls as a canvas. Tom creates a portfolio of work and a list of prospective firms to show his designs to. Tom looses hope as he is slowly denied by each firm until only a handful of firms are left. To clear his head, Tom goes to his favorite part in the city. As he is gazing out on the city he is approached by Summer. Summer compliments Tom on his wardrobe and tells him that she realizes that he is angry. Tom confesses to Summer that all his ideas on life, relationships and love were wrong to which Summer disagrees, telling him that the girl who didn't want to be anyone's girlfriend is now somebody's wife. She tells Tom that with her husband, she is sure of what she never was with Tom: if she loved him or not. Summer holds Tom's hand before telling him that she has to go. Tom tells her that he is happy that she is happy but makes it a point not to congratulate her on her marriage to which she smiles and leaves.
As Tom sits in the waiting room of his next interview he sees a girl sitting across from him. She asks tom if they have met, swearing that she knows him from somewhere. Tom denies knowing her, having never seen her before. The girl suddenly remembers that she has seen Tom at his favorite spot in the city which is coincidentally her favorite spot. The two joke with each other hoping that the other will not get the job. As Tom goes in to the interview, he pauses and walks back to the girl asking her if she wants to get some coffee after the interview. The girl says no, stating she is already meeting someone. However, as Tom turns to walk away, the girl changes her mind and agrees to go with him, stating they will work out the details later. Tom introduces himself while the girl reveals her name to be Autumn.
I did not initially want to see this movie when I first saw things about it, but the power of a woman is strong and I ended up seeing it. Much to my surprise, I really really enjoyed this movie. I was most impressed with the performance by Joseph Gordon-Levitt, who has been on a bit of a major movie hiatus in recent years. This film does something that most romantic films can not do and that is accurately display what appears to be an actual relationship. First of all, the chemistry between Zooey Deschanel and Joseph Gordon-Levitt was remarkably realistic. It actually felt as if you were watching the lives of two actual people unfold before you as opposed to two actors in a movie.
This film, I think, is as close to real life as you can get without making a horrible reality show. There was nothing flashy about the lives of the characters, no big mystery in their lives, no big climactic shocker in the end, just two people living life as it typically is. This movie really made you want the relationship between the characters to succeed but at the same time made you understand if it didn't. This was one romantic comedy that actually took the term to heart.
If I could explain this movie in one word, I might say things like quirky, cute, delightful, warm, cozy etc...Probably the best thing about this movie was that it was different from all the other movies out today that tend to focus on crude humor, sex, foul language and insane antics to draw a crowd. This movie draws it's audience with exceptional acting and wonderful story telling. It also had an interesting way of showing the story to the audience. The plot revolves around Gordon-Levitt's character and his 500 day relationship with Deschanel's character. However, instead of going day by day in chronological order, showing how the relationship fell apart, director Marc Webb jumps from the early days of the relationship with the couple being very happy and enjoying life to the latter days with Gordon-Levitt's character slipping into depression and becoming more upset with life. Webb bridged the day changes with a little animated interval showing the day number with the backdrop of a city drawing either in bright happy colors or dark black and whites depending on the day. It was this transaction between days that made the movie interesting to watch. You would see one of the many happy days and then be transported to the depression times wondering what happened along the way which causes you to stick around to find out. This style makes the movie interesting, not to mention an omnipresent narrator who pops in from time to time to explain what is going on if you are confused, which you shouldn't be because the plot is simple enough to follow.
This really was a very enjoyable film. It is a love story that everybody can relate to and one that appeals to people of all ages. It also does a great job of not bogging you down with a sappy love story throughout the entire movie by adding in a nice blend of comedy. This movie just made me feel good. I left the theater in a good mood and the rest of my day was good as well. I think this film will get underrated by most people because it doesn't have any really big names tagged onto it. While Zooey Deschanel is a very popular actress and Joseph Gordon-Levitt has had a good career, they don't raise the same kind of fame as some of the other stars in recent movies to come out. However, if this film does get over looked by viewers, then they are the ones that are missing out. This is one of those hidden gems that everybody should go see. I give (500) Days of Summer 9 Greeting cards out of 10
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