500 days of summer poster

“Do you ever do this, you think back on all the times you’ve had with someone and you just replay it in your head over and over again and you look for those first signs of trouble?”
– Tom Hansen

Tom Hansen (Joseph Gordon-Levitt) is an optimist and a believer in true love. He dreamed of becoming an architect and instead ended up working in a greeting card company in Los Angeles as a writer. His life is changed when he meets Summer Finn (Zooey Deschanel). For him it is love at first site. She is gorgeous and funny and smart. She is his dream girl. Tom starts obsessing over Summer, and eventually manages to strike up a conversation with her. After a pleasant night out at karaoke, Tom’s friend and co-worker McKenzie (Geoffrey Arend) let’s Summer in on how much Tom likes her. Summer tells Tom that she is not looking for a relationship and thinks true love is ridiculous.

500 days of summer tom and summer start dating

“I love how she makes me feel, like anything’s possible, or like life is worth it.” – Tom

However, Summer kisses Tom at work one day, and soon they start to see more of each other, though they aren’t labelling it anything as of yet. Tom falls madly in love with Summer, and the two seem to get along fantastically. Tom seems to be walking on water, and his life seems like a movie. However, after seeing each other for a while, Tom gets into a bar fight with a guy hitting on Summer, and they fight. Their relationship seems broken, and Tom accuses Summer of all sorts of things, among them that she cannot call them friends and still kiss him and sleep with him. They patch things up, but as time moves on the cracks rip into their relationship. Eventually they break up after watching The Graduate, a film depicting what Tom sees as true love. He is devastated, and his life falls apart around his ears. Paul (Matthew Gray Gubler) and McKenzie call Rachel (Chloë Grace Moretz), Tom’s younger sister, to come and get his head back on straight. He is drinking, he is catatonic, and he is distraught.

500 days of summer cracks

“I love her smile. I love her hair. I love her knees. I love how she licks her lips before she talks. I love her heart-shaped birthmark on her neck. I love it when she sleeps.” – Tom

Tom soon starts to try and put his life back together, but it seems useless without Summer. His work, which had flourished while he was with Summer, has become dark and depressing, and they have shifted him into the condolences department. Summer seems to be moving on. At a mutual wedding they attend, Summer and Tom spend some time together, and everything is great. She invites him to a party at her home, and Tom is sure that they will fix up everything that was wrong in their past. Filled with hope and anticipation, he arrives at her apartment and finds that his expectations vs reality were two totally different ideas. His quiet little evening with her really is a party, and his dreams of a reconciliation are shattered when he realises he is actually attending her engagement party. He is crushed and leaves immediately, and his life slips into further decay when he goes as far as to quit his job.

“People don’t realize this, but loneliness is underrated.” – Tom

Was this entire journey what Tom needed to find himself? Will he get a job in architecture now that he is not messing around with the silly writing at a firm he was not destined to be at? Does Tom still believe in true love, or has Summer tainted that for him forever? Will Summer get married to her unknown man, or will she return to Tom? What will happen now that the two of them seem to be moving on different trajectories? Will Tom flounder of flourish now that he is loveless and jobless?

500 days of summer breakup

“We’ve been like Sid and Nancy for months now.” – Summer

An 8/10 for (500) Days of Summer. This movie was so cute and fun but not overbearingly so. Zooey Deschanel truly is absolutely gorgeous and was thus very well suited for her role. I enjoyed Matthew Gray Gubler, he is always the awkward and funny one and he certainly didn’t disappoint here. This movie really managed to get parts or a breakup down right and did it in a hilarious way, as well as how awesome everything is when things are going well. The little dance scene was excellent when Tom was on his way to work. His enthusiasm was palpable. The chemistry between Joseph Gordon-Levitt and Zooey Deschanel was just what the movie needed, and truly sold the concept. I really, really enjoyed this movie, and what I like is how just about everyone else I have met that has seen it (men and women alike), admits that it is worth looking into. Plenty of my fellow bloggers who are male enjoyed it too, so as a guy you won’t feel ashamed about watching it, and seeing as it isn’t soppy, you may very well appreciate it. I felt this was a lot more fresh and realistic than your average romantic flick, and had the good times and the bad times involved. I really loved how it was shot, and that it was nonlinear narrative, it gave something new and fresh to the film, and it was nice to jump between the good and the bad, the funny and the sad. It had a solid cast that carried everything that was going on, and I thought Mark Webb worked wonders with this.

39 thoughts on “Review: (500) Days of Summer (2009)

  1. movierob says:

    great review Zoe!

    This has been on my re-watch list for months and just haven’t gotten around to it.

    I love JGL in everything he does and ZD is also great here.

    I also loved the non-linearity of this movie. I agree with you that it adds a very fresh twist to a love story and it kept making me wish to know more and more about filling in the gaps in the relationship

    Like

    1. Zoë says:

      Thanks Rob!

      Ah, it will be worth it when you find the time for it.

      They worked so well together, I really liked it!

      Exactly! And it was nice that it didn’t give you the overly conventional progression of a Hollywood film relationship.

      Like

      1. movierob says:

        I know it will be worth a re-watch…thats why it’s on my list 🙂

        yes, I can see the gif

        Like

      2. Zoë says:

        😀

        Oh good, for a second there it was missing!

        Like

  2. Excellent article, Zoe :). I love this film! Around the time of its release I was going through a similar situation and faze, a film I grew up on.

    Like

    1. Zoë says:

      Thanks Joseph! I am so glad to hear that (not the second half, but that you loved it). See, who says movies can’t teach us anything?!

      Like

  3. robbinsrealm says:

    Well written review! Great job as always.

    Like

    1. Zoë says:

      Thank you ever so kindly!

      Like

  4. Really nice little film, this one. Loads to like about it, but it does get a bit quirky for its own good at times. Still, I enjoyed it quite a lot! Cracking review 🙂

    Like

    1. Zoë says:

      Thanks Chris! It was quirky and fun, and there were times where it seemed it could go all wrong, but Webb kept it moving well and paced it nicely. It really was an absolute blast!

      Like

  5. renxkyoko says:

    Aaaargh. That’s depressing. And refreshing at the same time coz it’s the girl who dumps the guy.

    Like

    1. Zoë says:

      LOL! A fun film all round!

      Like

  6. jjames36 says:

    I need to see this one at some point. Your positive review further confirms that.

    Great work.

    Like

    1. Zoë says:

      Thank you! I don’t think you will be disappointed!

      Like

  7. Mark Walker says:

    Great review Zoe. I don’t normally go for romantic-comedies but this was a little gem of a film. I watched it recently after years of avoiding it and I’m glad I finally gave it a chance. Wonderful!

    Like

    1. Zoë says:

      Thanks Mark! I can completely agree with you on that front, they are usually silly films and a waste of time. I remember your review, you were rather fond of it, which is great!

      Like

  8. keith7198 says:

    Nice review Zoe. It’s definitely a perky little film. The impromptu dance sequence will always stand out to me for various odd reasons! 🙂

    Like

    1. Zoë says:

      Thanks Keith! I had a lot of fun with this little film! Ah, I loved that scene, it was so hilarious and it worked!

      Like

  9. Abbi says:

    One of my absolutely favourite “alternative” love stories. I actually bought it as a gift for my now husband for our first Valentines Day together. I think it just confirms what my best friend’s mom always used to say to us when we’d just been dumped, “the right person at the wrong time is still the wrong person.”

    Like

    1. Zoë says:

      Awwww that is a sweet gift! Hmmm, that is a good piece of wisdom right there!

      Like

  10. Ryan says:

    I’ve been meaning to go back and re-watch this one for a while. It’s such a fantastic film with two of the most charming actors in the business right now. Really solid film, great review Zoe!

    Like

    1. Zoë says:

      Thanks Ryan, glad you liked this! So out of your realm of expertise 😉 It was a really good film and easy to appreciate!

      Like

      1. Ryan says:

        Haha, I know right! Sometimes you just need a break from all the blood and guts, you know?

        Like

      2. Zoë says:

        😛 I do know what you mean, every now and then you have to dip your toes, and sometimes you are surprised!

        Like

  11. CMrok93 says:

    One of my favorite rom-coms of all-time and, dare I say it, a life-changer for me. Yup, loved it that much. Good review Zoe.

    Like

    1. Zoë says:

      Wow Dan that’s AWESOME to hear! It is such a good flick with more body and influence than this genre has to offer.

      Like

  12. Dan Heaton says:

    I liked this movie and have been surprised at the nasty backlash against it. I know a lot of people who hate it, especially Zooey Deschanel. I think it’s an energetic movie that mostly works, but it’s been targeted for its “manic pixie dream girl” by a lot of people. I’m glad you enjoyed it.

    Like

    1. Zoë says:

      Thanks Dan! Wow, those are some rough and harsh things to be said against it! It was a lot of fun and had realistic downer bits. My best friend was thoroughly depressed by the end of it, so she is not the world’s biggest fan either, which surprised me. I thought of everyone she would enjoy it the most!

      Like

  13. One thing I love about this movie and your pictures and gifs further illustrate that point, the dialogue. I will admit I never truly, absolutely loved this movie at first, but it’s one of those movies that after marinating a while gets better. It’s totally quotable and funny, when you look at in retrospect. So it is def worth watching again!

    Good review.

    Like

    1. Zoë says:

      Thanks a lot. The quotes that really cracked me up was when he spoke about all the things he loved about her, including the heart shaped birth mark, and how it later devolved to a cockroach shaped one. Truly, the longer you think on it the more charming it becomes.

      Like

  14. theipc says:

    Good stuff, Zoe!! I only watched this because you were and since you wouldn’t let me inside, I didn’t hear any of the dialogue : (

    : )

    Like

    1. Zoë says:

      Thanks Eric.

      Dammit, I knew it was too soft. I will sort that out when you get back, Texas is going to wreak havoc on your dialogue detection 😛

      Like

  15. Great review Zoe. I just can’t bring myself to watch this as Zooey Deschanel drives me up the wall so bleedin’ much!

    Like

    1. Zoë says:

      Thanks Mark! Really? You should just give this a try, it is pretty cool. Plus you can hate on her some more at times! 😛

      Like

  16. caragale says:

    Nice review, Zoe! As far as rom coms go, this is definitely one of the better ones. Haven’t seen it in ages though. I need a rewatch! P.S. I’m digging that gif. 🙂

    Like

    1. Zoë says:

      Thanks Cara! This is definitely not in the same class as the rest, and sets itself apart, which is awesome. You should totally check it out again! LOL thanks, I love it!

      Like

  17. table9mutant says:

    I love this movie! My hubby hated it soooooo much because he hated the character of Summer. Never seen him so mad at a movie! Lol. Nice review! : )

    Like

    1. Zoë says:

      LOL really?! That is classic!

      Like

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