500 Days of Summer
Staring: Joseph Gordon-Levitt and Zooey Deschanel,
Directed by Marc Webb
At the beginning of the movie, before the title, a disclaimer states:
Frame One: "AUTHOR'S NOTE: The following is a work of fiction. Any resemblance to any persons living or dead is purely coincidental."
Frame Two: "Especially you Jenny Beckman."
Frame Three: "Bitch."
Very cleaver way to start a movie. You already have a smile on your face before the characters step onto the scene.
500 Days of Summer pits hopeless romantic Tom Hansen against Summer Finn, the girl of her dreams. Only she makes it clear up front she won't be his girlfriend and she will never believe in love.
Boy meets girl. Boy wants girl. Girl wants be your friend, hold your hand, sleep with you for eighteen months but girl will not accept the myth of love, the hope of a relationship's future or the fact that this exceptional boy with a slight twist to his mind, will do anything for her. Tom studied to be an architect and now writes greeting cards. To fill that missing hole in his life, that unfulfilled dream, he has a favorite place to sit: a park bench over looking old Los Angeles where he can ignore the parking lots and enjoy the buildings of old, all of which he knows the history -- a idealist through and through. Summer cannot appreciate what she has in front of her - a needy boy who wants her bad.
Summer: "We're just friends. "
Tom: "No! Don't pull that with me! Kissing in the copy room? Holding hands in IKEA? Shower sex? Come on! Friends my balls!"
The part of Tom Hansen is a departure from JGL's darker roles that he took between 3rd Rock"s Tommy and Inception's Arthur, his two mile stone characters. Tom is high maintenance, a sorta needy dreamer who isn't looking for the perfect love of his life, but does, none the less, feel he found it the second she walks in the door.
Summer is described as "quite ordinary" yet men can't help but fall in love with her and ice cream sales at her previous summer job sky-rocket by the mere fact she is behind the counter. She is an extra-ordinary woman in this supposedly average body. Only not much is ordinary about co-star ZooeyDeschanel. This was their second feature film together after Manic, released in 2001. JGL and Deschanel have that Ginger Rogers/Fred Astaire, Humphrey Bogart/Lauren Becall, Chevy Chase/Goldie Hawn chemistry together. The short vignette posted several weeks ago of the bank heist shows just how good they are together and how they can make each other laugh. Yes, it is all for the screen as they are not involved, but I did hear tell they do hope to make more movies together.
Was Tom the perfect man for Summer? Not even close. But he did need this cock-eyed relationship to put his perspective of life in order. She hurt him. She hurt him bad. Even cruelly when she wasn't trying. But in the end, he was able to come through and realize sometimes when it doesn't work out, good can still come from it.
From the film: "If Tom had learned anything... it was that you can't ascribe great cosmic significance to a simple earthly event. Coincidence, that's all anything ever is, nothing more than coincidence... Tom had finally learned, there are no miracles. There's no such thing as fate, nothing is meant to be. He knew, he was sure of it now."