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"(500) Days of Summer"
© 2009 20th Century Fox

Director: Marc Webb
Cast: Zooey Deschanel, Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Clark Gregg, Minka Kelly, Matthew Gray Gubler, Rachel Boston, Geoffrey Arend, Chloe Moritz
RunTime: 1 hr 35 mins
Released By: 20th Century Fox
Rating: PG
Official Website: www.foxmovies.com.sg

Opening Day: 8 October 2009


This is a story of boy meets girl, begins the wry, probing narrator of (500) DAYS OF SUMMER, and with that the film takes off at breakneck speed into a funny, true-to-life and unique dissection of the unruly and unpredictable year-and-a-half of one young man’s no-holds-barred love affair. 

Tom, the boy, still believes, even in this cynical modern world, in the notion of a transforming, cosmically destined, lightning-strikes-once kind of love.   Summer, the girl, doesn’t.  Not at all.  But that doesn’t stop Tom from going after her, again and again, like a modern Don Quixote, with all his might and courage. Suddenly, Tom is in love not just with a lovely, witty, intelligent woman – not that he minds any of that -- but with the very idea of Summer, the very idea of a love that still has the power to shock the heart and stop the world.

Movie Review:

It’s never easy getting over a break up. Especially if you are the one that’s still harboring hopes for the relationship or care more about the other party. (500) days of summer is one such story of a boy who fell in love with a girl that he can’t get over and it’s told in such a delightfully fluffy yet painfully accurate manner that it’s actually fun to sit thru the boy’s ups and downs of a relationship that is doomed from the start.

In a whimsically flashback manner, we were introduced the girl Summer and the boy Tom. We got to know how they met, their individual characteristic and how their love sparkles between them. This movie was able to draw out both of their winsome quirkiness that made them quite endearing in their own ways.

Here we have Tom, the protagonist who recounting his days spent with Summer at the end of their relationship. We witness how Tom fall in love with Summer and had the most blissful moments in his life. Then on the other, we see his pain as he had to deal with the sudden void in his life.

It would be easy to write Summer off as a uncaring bitch who tore the poor protagonist’s heart out. The differences here would be that the character’s more multi-layered and more realistic. Her words might be downright cruel but it’s more beneficial for both parties in the long run and more attuned to the real world.
What made this movie about love and breakup even more special was though the use of fanciful film making tricks to tell the story.

The non chorological method of telling the story provided a great way to contrast the blissful moments from the dreadful moments of a relationship. It uses similar situation to illustrate how things changes when one party is no longer attracted to the other. It’s applicable to real life as that how we usually recall about our past. People seldom recall things in a chorological manner and it’s often things that matter that pop in our mind. It also uses split screen effects to contrast the difference between expectation and reality. Folks who had their idealized date falling apart will be able to relate to this segment.

In closing, after a discussion with a friend, we agreed that to a degree, almost everyone would have been a Tom and Summer at some part of their life. We might have our hearts broken into pieces but we might also have broken other’s heart somewhere along the way. It’s not an easy process to get by but that’s life. Some might just hide the issue and get by while the braves one would do the right thing for a relationship.

It’s also about coming to terms with idealizing relationship and the other half. In reality, it does not often match up with what’s been idealized and how do we cope with it? There’s no easy answer for it but (500) days of summer showcase a fun and imaginative journey in dealing with it.

Movie Rating:

(An odyssey of falling in love and surviving an achy breakup)

Review by Richard Lim Jr


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