MovieMantz Review: ‘(500) Days of Summer'

"All 'Summer' Long"

"(500) Days of Summer"
Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Zooey Deschanel
Directed by Marc Webb

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Oh, "(500) Days of Summer," how do I love thee? Let me count the ways — out of order, and from a list of, well, 500 (you'll know why when you see it)…

(1) It was, by far, the best movie I saw at the 2009 Sundance Film Festival back in January.
(4) After seeing it again seven months later, it holds up really well.
(5) In fact, it's even better the second time around.
(6) The third time can't get here fast enough.
(483) It's an instant classic that you'll want to own when it comes out on DVD.
(52) After being relentlessly bombarded by Terminators and Transformers for the past few months, the modestly budgeted indie is the perfect cure for big budget blockbuster fatigue.
(67) It's being released by Fox Searchlight, the specialty division behind well-deserved Best Picture-nominees "Sideways" (2004), "Little Miss Sunshine" (2006), "Juno" (2007) and last year's big Oscar-winner, "Slumdog Millionaire."
(68) It's better than all of those movies (which makes another Best Picture nomination for Fox Searchlight a foregone conclusion).
(15) After powerful performances in critically acclaimed indies like "Mysterious Skin," "Brick" and "The Lookout," Joseph Gordon-Levitt — the all-grown-up child star from TV's "3rd Rock from the Sun" — is terrific as Tom Hansen, an aspiring architect who still believes that love is grand.
(16) Zooey Deschanel is also wonderful as Summer Finn, the very pretty executive assistant at the greeting card company where Tom works to pay the bills. She's got more of a glass-is-half-empty take on the enduring power of love, but Tom doesn't seem to mind (at least, not at first).
(17) Gordon-Levitt and Deschanel have amazing chemistry together.
(44) The story — about a boy who falls head over heels for a girl who, after 500 days, doesn't love him back — is something that anyone who's had their heart broken can relate to.
(45) The superb and clever screenplay (wonderfully written by Scott Neustadter & Michael H. Weber) keeps you fully engaged, since it jumps back and forth between the rose-colored bliss of the early days to the gut-wrenching angst when their relationship starts to fall apart.
(46) Marc Webb directs with such skill and grace, you would never know it's his first feature.
(377) There are a couple of scenes that are flat-out brilliant.
(378) In one, Tom is on cloud nine after sealing the deal with Summer, prompting an impromptu dance down the streets of Los Angeles to the music of Hall & Oats ("You Make My Dreams Come True").
(379) In another more ingenious scene, Tom goes to a party held by Summer, and the screen is split into two parts: one side depicts how Tom expects the night to proceed, and the other shows how it actually goes.
(86) Chloë Grace Moretz, who plays Gordon-Levitt's wise-beyond-her-years little sister, is hysterical.
(311) The awesome soundtrack has an eclectic mix that includes The Smiths, The Black Lips and Simon & Garfunkel.
(312) When you hear "Bookends," you won't be able to hold back the tears (trust me on that one).
(225) It's not too short, and it's not too long — at 96 minutes, it's just right.
(401) The last line of dialogue really nails it.
(495) It's charming.
(496) It's funny.
(497) It's filled with genuine emotion.
(498) It's heartbreaking, but it still makes you feel good.
(499) Movies like this are the reason why I love movies.

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And last, but most certainly not least…

(500) It's the best movie of the year.


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