DVD Review - 500 Days of Summer

By Steven Leventhal

There aren't a lot of films about angst-riddled young adults that make for enjoyable viewing, but "500 Days of Summer" is an exception. The film centers around young Tom Hansen, superbly played by Joseph Gordon-Levitt (yes, the kid from TV's "3rd Rock from the Sun") all grown up now and working at a Los Angeles greeting card company. The plot revolves around the relationship, or rather the breakup of his relationship with the office hottie, Summer Finn, played by the charismatic Zooey Deschanel.

What makes this story so interesting is that is told after the fact, as Hansen goes back and reviews all the events leading up to and beyond the relationship gone bad. The film jumps back and forth in time. Each day of their life together (and apart) is numbered, thus the title of "500 Days..." You witness, the meetup, the hookup, and the breakup, and his efforts to win her back.

It's not unlike what we sports reporters do in analyzing, and perhaps over analyzing what went wrong in a lost season, bad draft pick, or player who failed to live up to potential.

Summer is distant at times, hard to read, doesn't believe in "true love," and says she doesn't want a serious commitment, yet Hansen continues to get involved, and thus falls into the love trap. There is one great scene after he first sleeps with Summer, where he's dancing and singing on his way to work. Soon, it becomes a full blown dance routine that's a spoof of Disney's "Enchanted." Tom's junior-high age sister, Rachel (Chloe Moretz) is a scene stealer, who often provides better advice than Tom's two best adult friends.

This movie is for anyone who likes great characters, well written dialogue, and good acting. If you still haven't gotten over a bad breakup or your team's perennial last place finish, maybe you should skip it until your psyche heals.

The DVD version has deleted and extended scenes with optional commentary. It also contains feature commentary with director Marc Webb, writer Michael Webber, co-writer Scott Newstator and Gordon-Levitt. Unfortunately, I didn't get to view those features as my Netflix version came without it. It's like picking Ryan Leaf in the draft. Nonetheless, this movie is a solid triple - three and a half stars.

Filed under: DVD, Movies


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