Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Zooey Deschanel
Rachel: Just because she likes the same bizzaro crap you do doesn’t mean she’s your soul mate.
Tom (Gordon-Levitt) writes messages for greeting cards and believes wholeheartedly in true love. Summer (Deschanel) is a new employee at the same greeting card company. She does not believe in true love, meeting “the one”, or any other such romantic nonsense. The two meet, really like each other, and spend a lot of time together. The problem is, one is totally in love, while the other is just having a fun time.
I saw this movie way back in February at a special showing, long before I started doing my movie-a-day reviews, but now that I’ve seen it again, I can write a review.
The movie begins by telling us that while this is a story of “boy meets girl”, it is “not a love story.” We see their break up early on, then start jumping from good times to bad times to post break up times, with a helpful day-meter also flipping back and forth in order to keep us aware of which of the 500 days we’re on. If done poorly, this could have created a very disjointed film, but I think it actually flows very well for the most part.
I enjoyed all the quirky, creative steps outside of reality, like the characters talking directly to the camera and Tom’s imagined dance scene (complete with marching band and a cartoon bluebird) celebrating his and Summer’s first, uh, intimate night together. Again, that stuff could all seem forced and out of place if not done right, but here it all seems to fit with the feel of the movie.
The actors all do a good job, particularly Joseph Gordon-Levitt. He could have easily come off as whiney and too desperate, but I thought he achieved more of a sympathetic character that you’d want to help through the situation rather than just telling him “get over it!” Though, speaking of his character. He studied to be an architect, and that’s a rather major part of the movie, but don’t architects do more than draw skylines? Admittedly I don’t know anything about architecture, but it would’ve been nice to see him draw some blueprints or something maybe, rather than just doodles of buildings. That’s beyond minor, as far as complaints go, but it’s something I noticed.
As for other minor critcisms, there’s a couple of scenes that seem a little extraneous or repititious, in that they are making a point about the characters that has already been made clear in the film. Also, the everything-is-going-to-be-ok ending seemed a little forced and unnecessary. I would have been happier with the movie ending about one minute before it actually does.
Overall, though, I obviously liked this one a lot. Good music, likable and funny characters, an interesting twist on romantic comedies, and a heapin’ helpin’ of Zooey. These add up to a very pleasant movie-going experience.
12 year olds in movies are wise, and are the only source of relationship advice you really need.
10 – .6 for the extraneous/repititious scenes – .4 for that ending I didn’t like – .1 because I didn’t think the younger sister character was very believable = 8.9