Midwest Meets Manhattan

(500) Days of Summer
July 18, 2009, 5:03 pm
Filed under: Uncategorized

Also known as, who the heck are Scott Neustadter and Michael H. Weber, and why aren’t they writing more fantastic movies??

500-days-of-summer-01I’m going to review without spoilers, since this was a limited release and it doesn’t come out nationwide until August 7th. Sorry, Midwest. Life just kind of stinks for you, as far as movies go. Fun fact: The fact that New York gets limited-release movies is one more reason I’m coming back here after graduation. Not to rub any of that in. I’m just really excited.

It’s kind of like I get to see it premiere twice now, since I’m sure I’ll go see it with people when it comes out on August 7. I better, anyway – if you’re going to be around, we’re going to see it.

Basically, the premise of this movie is that Tom Hanson (Joseph Gordon-Levitt) is the guy who has always believed in destiny and The One, and who believes his life won’t be complete until he finds Her. Summer Finn (Zooey Deschanel) is the girl who doesn’t believe in fate and thinks things just happen as they happen.

“This is a story of Boy Meets Girl. The boy, Tom Hanson of New Jersey, grew up believing that he’d never truly be happy until the day he met The One. This belief stemmed from early exposure to sad British pop music and a total misreading of the movie The Graduate.

The girl, Summer Finn of Michigan, did not share this belief. Since the disintegration of her parents’ marriage, she’d only loved two things. The first was her long, dark hair. The second was how easily she could cut it off and feel nothing.

Tom meets Summer on January 8th. He knows almost immediately she is who he’s been searching for. This is a story of Boy Meets Girl, but you should know up front, this is not a Love Story.”

–The Story of Boy Meets Girl, Mychael Danna & Rob Simonsen

Tom meets Summer when she begins work as a personal assistant in his office, where he has spent the last three or four years writing greeting cards after he got his degree in architecture. After a crazy night of All You Can Karaoke at a local bar, they decide to be friends. Tom has already fallen, and hard, but Summer says she doesn’t want a boyfriend, that she doesn’t want to be “somebody’s girlfriend.”

The rest of the movie is kind of like a record that jumps back and forth between the stages of their relationship. I can honestly say that this is the only movie I have ever seen that has had me laughing hysterically, then practically brought me to tears within seconds – and you know a lot of movies make that claim. Gordon-Levitt has really made a comeback from the Canceled Sitcom Wasteland, and he really, really shines in this movie.

Honestly, it was a little bit like his character in 10 Things I Hate About You, post-college. Now that I think about it, I can actually see that. But at the same time, that doesn’t bother me at all because he did such a superb job acting in this movie (yes, superb).

I think one thing I really liked about this movie is that Gordon-Levitt and Deschanel are the only two really recognizable people in this film. The only other person I recognized vaguely was Clark Gregg, who plays Tom’s boss (one of those “I think I’ve seen that guy before…but…I’m not sure?” kind of roles).

And want to know how good the soundtrack is? Both Barnes & Noble and Best Buy were out of it already. Good old iTunes, never lets me down. I think I will still buy it in person, though.

  1. A Story of Boy Meets Girl – Mychael Danna and Rob Simonsen
  2. Us – Regina Spektor
  3. There is a Light That Never Goes Out – The Smiths
  4. Bad Kids – Black Lips
  5. Please, Please, Please Let Me Get What I Want – The Smiths
  6. There Goes the Fear – Doves
  7. You Make My Dreams – Hall and Oates
  8. Sweet Disposition – The Temper Trap
  9. Quelqu’un M’a Dit – Carla Bruni
  10. Mushaboom – Feist
  11. Hero – Regina Spektor
  12. Bookends – Simon and Garfunkel
  13. Vagabond – Wolfmother
  14. She’s Got You High – Mumm-Ra
  15. Here Comes Your Man – Meaghan Smith
  16. Please, Please, Please Let Me Get What I Want – She and Him

Official judgment? This is the best movie I have seen this year. It definitely goes in my top five.

If you have the opportunity to watch this, do it. Just know that it will make you laugh and it will definitely make you cry.

1 Comment so far
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I feel lame that I already own half of that soundtrack just on my own.

But, I’m wildly jealous that you got to go see it, Bails. I cannot wait till it comes out.


Comment by Jaime

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