(500) Days of Summer

| 8 September , 2009 | Reply

Guest editor

Guest Editor, Kimberley from Pop Couture

This week, I was lucky enough to attend an advanced screening of 500 Days of Summer thanks to Bloom Cosmetics.

What better way to welcome in Spring, with what plenty will assume is a love story. Well, it is..and it isn\’t. What it is, is a relationship film. Its probably a reality check. The old fashioned narrator at the beginning of the film (and who narrates intermittently throughout) lets the audience know from the get-go: “This is a story of boy meets girl. But you should know up front, this is not a love story.”

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Don\’t worry readers, myself or the narrator aren\’t spoiling anything you aren\’t already told – after all, one of the poster\’s tagline declares “Boy meets girl. Boy falls in love. Girl doesn\’t”. Before you think this will be another romantic comedy off the conveyor belt, think again. The beauty of this film, the absolute raw, honest yet whimsical beauty of this film is that it is a story about relationships – and dissects the feeling of love, felt by one, or more parties.

Tom (an effortlessly charming Joseph Gordon-Levitt) meets Summer (a mysteriously incandescent Zooey Deschanel) and after a brief conversation in the elevator where she overhears him blasting the Smiths on his headphones, confessing her love – he\’s in love.

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The structure of the film on the outset has been done before – its not linear, it doesn\’t start at the beginning, nor necessarily at the end. In any other movie this may be confusing but it isn\’t treated as a flashback as such, more an honest recollection of memories, as Tom struggles to remember every single moment that may have led to the feelings not being returned by Summer. After all, when you recollect random memories, associate with songs, or events, do you recall them in the order you experienced them? I didn\’t think so.

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After about 45 days, Tom loves Summer\’s 60s hairdo, he loves the way she laughs, he loves the heart shaped birthmark on her neck, her knees, he loves that Patrick Swayze singing ‘She\’s Like The Wind\’ reminds him of his feelings for her. He\’s smitten. The direction of Marc Webb in his first feature is inspired, but most definitely offers a unique piece all the same . The way he uses Fellini-esque arthouse scenes to represent Tom\’s grief at the demise of his relationship or the way he effortlessly introduces a 50\’s style dance homage could be contrived in any other setting but it just works – and Joseph & Zooey are perfectly cast.

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Whilst the viewer was warned that this wasn\’t going to be a love story, the raw, delightfully painful and honest way in which the writers (Scott Neustadter and Michael H Weber) offer this period in Tom & Summer\’s life means that it is so much more, and gives the audience much to ponder, more than any other generic romantic comedy.

Backed up by a brilliant soundtrack, already making a name for itself before its even released here in Australia, it features the stunning Regina Spektor, The Smiths, Carla Bruni (Mrs. Presidente) and Hall & Oates. I can\’t even begin to describe just how much I grin even hearing ‘You Make Me Dream\’ by Hall & Oates – once you see the film, you will understand why. Note that I said once you see the film – as in, you must see it. No ifs, or buts about it!

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I can\’t speak highly enough of this film, and I\’m sure when this is released nationally on September 17th, I\’ll be seeing it again.

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Miss Pop-Couture

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