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Movie Reviews

Film Review: “(500) Days of Summer”

(Fox Searchlight. 1 hour, 35 minutes. Rated PG-13 for sexual material and language. Directed by Marc Webb.) Joseph Gordon-Levitt (Tom Hansen), Zooey Deschanel (Summer Finn), Geoffrey Arend (McKenzie), Chloe Moretz (Rachel Hansen), Matthew Gray Gubler (Paul). Music by Mychael Danna and Rob Simonsen.


Claiming that it isn’t a love story, (500) Days chronicles the ups and downs of the relationship between failed-architect-turned-greeting-card-writer Tom (Gordon-Levitt) and airy, aloof secretary Summer (Deschanel). With its fairy tale narration and cool, indie soundtrack, this film is sweet, funny and sometimes devastatingly sad. The plot jumps backward and forward in the timeline, but, as in the title, the days are always numbered, giving the viewer an easy reference. The jumping is used to interesting, hilarious and often poignant effect, setting up odd scenarios or contrasting different events in Tom and Summer’s relationship.

In the same way a person might remember a past relationship, it seems fractured and jumbled, but also very real. The characters react in very human ways, with a mild cynicism that definitely sets it apart from your traditional “love story.” Deschanel is cute and quirky enough to be believable as an unassuming “it” girl, and Gordon-Levitt has come a long way from 3rd Rock From the Sun, imbuing Tom with an affable restlessness. Tom’s younger sister/advisor Rachel (Moretz) and his friends McKenzie and Paul (Arend and Gubler, respectively) threaten to run away with their scenes, and round out a very talented cast. The soundtrack plays an important role in the film, highlighting the various stages of their relationship, informing several very entertaining vignettes and even bringing Tom and Summer together (they originally bond over a mutual love of the Smiths). The film is beautifully shot, and gives us a good look at a lesser-seen side of Los Angeles. An unconventional and affecting film, but don’t call it a love story.

Jared Counts

Jared Counts he/him

Digital Technology Manager

A UH alum, Jared Counts was hired part-time at KUHF Radio in early 2003, bouncing between departments until being hired full-time as a web developer in February 2007. He currently manages the front- and back-end of this website (including the WordPress plugin that runs this staff directory), as well as...

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