A quick word on 500 Days of Summer (2009)

Director: Marc Webb
Writers: Scott Neustadter, Michael H. Weber
Stars: Zooey Deschanel, Joseph Gordon-Levitt and Geoffrey Arend

My one-paragraph take: I keep expecting melodrama considering the number count on the days “left” with Summer, and Gordon-Levitt’s well-nurtured dumped and decrepit expressions. In a good way. But I’m glad that this expectation did not borne itself out. Both Deschanel and Gordon-Levitt were charming and comfortable with each other, and their characters’ courtship really grew on me. The quirks and the impromptu scenes of falling in love were wonderfully heartfelt, from the happy-dance to the Ikea to the especially nifty mockumentary intermission, which actually made me more involved in the characters even though it interrupted the existing film aesthetic. The climax felt alien and jarring and leaves open many questions. Indeed, the film’s refusal to offer not some overarching grand moral narrative but snippets of experience made the narrative all the more consequential. The cinematography was lovely and familiar, so much so that I rewinded on a few occasions to see if I recognized a building or a landscape. Perhaps it speaks very much to the careful craftsmanship of this film that I felt like I could be in Tom’s shoes, where his perception of that significant other ignored the grayer points of reality. Worth seeing for its meandering and sensible storytelling alone.

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