500 Days of Summer (2009)

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Director: Marc Webb

Stars: Zooey Deschanel, Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Geoffrey Arend

Runtime: 95 min

Joseph Gordon-Levitt and Zooey Deschanel in a romantic comedy, in a movie by the director of The Amazing Spider-Man. Seems an odd combination, but it is somehow fitting. Tom Hansen (Gordon-Levitt) is a recent graduate of architecture, currently working in a greeting card company. While there, he meets the beautiful Summer Finn (Deschanel), who he is immediately attracted to. Over the next 500 days, their relationship is a roller coaster of ups and downs.

There are several dozen sappy, overblown romantic comedies every year, and 500 Days of Summer easily could have been one of them. But the manner in which it is told is what separates it. The film starts on day 488 from when Tom meets Summer, then it skips back to the day when he first met her, then it skips forward again, then back, and so on. And through all these flash-forwards and flashbacks, you get to see just how drastic things have changed over time. It may not be the first time the technique has been done, but, in this case, it is what makes the film extraordinary. Also, at one point Joseph Gordon-Levitt has an entire dance sequence to the tune of Hall and Oates’ “You Make My Dreams Come True.” Wonderful.

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