Fox Searchlight
MSRP: $9.49
RUNNING TIME: 95 minutes

- Commentary by director Marc Webb, writers Michael Weber, Scott Neustadter and Joseph Gordon-Levitt
- Deleted and extended scenes

The Pitch

Boy loses girl, boy gets girl back,
boy meets girl, but not really, boy obsesses over girl…and maybe or not in that order.

The Humans

Josepeh Gordon-Levitt, Zooey Deschanel, Geoffrey Arend, Chloe Moretz, Matthew Gray Gubler, Clark Gregg.

The Nutshell

Tom Hansen
(JGL) is an architect who works at a greeting card company.  His up and down relationship with co-worker and object of his affection, Summer Finn (Deschanel), over a 500-day span is recounted in a nonlinear narrative.  it’s a romantic comedy but definitely not a love story.

Day 366: When she won’t return Cobra Commander’s calls.  Not because he’s the leader of a ruthless terrorist organization determined to rule the world, but because he was out trying to conquer said world on their anniversary…

The Lowdown

It’s really the rare romantic comedy that gets the kind of praise that 500 Days is getting and has gotten.  This film takes the tired formula of recounting the relationship of a man and woman, how it starts out good, has its bad patches and its ultimate conclusion, and gives it a nonlinear spin.  Normally that would just be a gag, but the writing of the film, the acting by the two co-stars and direction by Marc Webb culminate in a touching (and trust me, I don’t use that word often) film that deftly mixes comedic elements with affecting drama. 

Day 16: Where she’s going on about how she likes Ringo Starr most of all and he’s pretending that he doesn’t here anything other than “blah, blah blah, yadda yadda blah.”

The basic premise of the story is that Tom is a guy who always believed that he wouldn’t be happy until he found “the one.”  Meanwhile, Summer is more of a free spirit who isn’t looking for a steady boyfriend, and thinks that relationships are archaic constructs in which she doesn’t believe.  Summer takes a job at the same greeting card company where Tom works.  She immediately catches Tom’s eye, but he initially thinks she’s out of his league and he plays it coy.  Eventually however, they strike up a friendship.  That friendship soon turns to friendship with benefits, although neither knows exactly how to categorize the relationship, and that soon becomes a problem for both of them. 

“I’d like to dedicate this song to my dad, who filmed the Crucifixion…well not the real one, but the make-believe one…but that’s not to say that I’m dedicating this to him because he was shooting Jesus getting nailed or anything…

Their relationship has its ups and downs, but eventually it has a major down, and that destroys Tom for a good deal of the 500 days.  He becomes depressed, his work suffers, and he comes to realize that everything he ever thought about love turned out to be bullshit, at least in his eyes.  To go on as to how their relationship issues are resolved would be to get into spoiler territory, and I think that this is a film that is worth seeing.  It’s certainly the most guy-friendly chick flick to come along in some time.

In addition to the nonlinear method of storytelling, which works very well here as Webb has constructed it, everything else for the film clicks also. Gordon-Levitt and Deschanel have good chemistry, and Gordon-Levitt carries much of the film nicely as we see his Tom experience all the peaks and valleys of falling in and out of love.  500 Days of Summer is a fun and well-made film.

“When can we Xerox ourselves having sex?”
“Day never.”

The Package

Look of the film and audio are both fine.  The disc is available in English Dolby 5.1, English Descriptive, Spanish and French Dolby, along with English and Spanish subtitles.  There are two special features, a commentary by Webb, writers Michael Weber, Scott Neustadter and Gordon Levitt.  There are also nine extended and deleted scenes with optional commentary by Webb and company. 

7.7 out of 10