Let's face it. We've all done our share of "dumping". Whether it's the, "Lets just be friends," or the all too familiar, "It's not you, it's me," tactic, as long as you're not on the receiving end it becomes a question of, "How quickly can I get this over with, so I can move on with my life?" Equally, all of us (yes even Brad Pitt) have experienced what it feels like to "be" dumped and the complex emotions that unexpectedly follow. If you're one of the fortunate souls that have managed to escape the throws of relationship hell, you'll probably fare better with renting the newest addition to the Rambo series. For the rest of you who've at one time or another gotten your hearts ripped out of your chests and stomped into a million pieces only to turn you into unshaven, alcoholic hermits on the brink of starvation…this movie is dedicated to you.
Tom (Joseph-Gordon-Levitt) is a wanna-be architect turned professional greeting card writer whose life is thrown for a loop when he suddenly falls for the "new girl" Summer (Zooey Deschanel, Almost Famous). As one who appeared most certainly unattainable at first glance, Tom manages to charm her into what she coins as a, "casual relationship." Eventually, Tom ends up questioning their status with one another, which manages to put strain on the relationship, causing her to request the dreaded "time apart." (500) Days of Summer chronicles the bitter sweet beginnings, the untimely endings and all of that confusing stuff that takes place during the in betweens of a relationship that just isn't meant to be.
(500) Days of Summer is presented in an effective non-linear style that sets it apart from its romantic comedy predecessors, rotating back and forth between dates signified by a simple title card flashing in between scenes (2), (50), (150) and so on to represent the various days in the course of Toms roller coaster of a relationship. This seesaw method of bouncing to and fro successfully manages to force the viewer in a physically engaging shared experience of Tom's feelings, which is something every director aspires to elicit from their intended audience.
The real kudos go to Scott Neustadter and Michael Weber, whose script is practically flawless. You can't help but feel that their authenticity and attention to detail while constructing each scene through appropriately sarcastic and funny dialogue exchanges among all of the main characters involved, particularly those between Deschanel and Levitt which come across as heartbreakingly real and genuine. Their creative way of crafting the simple concept of a break up through unconventional story structuring is a refreshing concept that begs to be seen more in a world where most conventional films tend to play it safe.
Leads Deschanel and Levitt manage to bring something quite special to the screen in their portrayals of Tom and Summer (both "last nameless"). Their chemistry is really what makes the film a joy to watch. Mostly thanks to Neustadter and Weber's superb dialog, both actors seem so comfortable in their roles that their interactions with one another transcend the screen and naturally unfold before our eyes as if we were voyeurs to their unraveling, wanting so much to change the fate of their outcome, but helpless to do so. Deschanel is sexy, carefree and bound to be adored by males everywhere as Summer. Levitt captures the struggle of the neurotic "boy in love" exceptionally through all of his various stages of emotional imbalance.
(500) Days of Summer is a poem to every down and out guy who thinks he's the only one whose ever been dragged through the mill by their own Summer. What undoubtedly ends up making this picture so brilliant is how relatable it is to its victims and victimizers a like. When all is said and done, there is most definitely a lesson to be learned by Tom's experiences. Everyone you meet along the way, whether just passing through or sticking around for awhile, has a purpose. In the end nothing lasts forever, relationships begin, relationships end. Try to be thankful for all the people that broke your heart, they more than likely helped you find yourself in the process …