(500) Days of Summer

The last time I was impressed by romantic films was way back in 2004 when Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind and Before Sunset were released. These films were not your run-of-the-mill love stories. There is none of the overdone plot where a boy and girl meet, fall in love, have sex, fight, break-up, and before the end credits roll swap spit on the streets or airport.

That’s a 5-year drought until the release of the terrific (that’s a word I will not tire of using) (500) Days of the Summer. A film with the tagline “This is not a love story. It is a story about love.”.

The film tells the story of Tom Hanson (Joseph Gordon-Levitt) and Summer Finn (Zooey Deschanel) who meet at a greeting card company where they both work. They soon both hang out together – going window shopping for home furniture, watching movies, renting out porn, having sex.

Tom eventually falls in love but Summer doesn’t – pointing out in a scene at the start of the film that she does not see herself as someone else’s girlfriend. She later backtracks on this in an excellent scene at a park bench, the best in the film if you ask me, acknowledging that true love, soulmates, destiny – things that Tom believed in but she scoffed at – do exist.

The film, presented in a nonlinear narrative, has many wonderful scenes where the characters spew out great dialogue. It also has a pretty good soundtrack featuring songs from The Smiths, Regina Spektor, and Hall & Oates.

It opens Wednesday and I will most likely watch this on the big screen. Now, I need to go hunt for my autumm. But before that, here’s the elevator scene transcript which is one of my favorites from the film.

Summer: I love The Smiths.

Tom: [removing his headphones] Sorry?

Summer: I said I love The Smiths. You–you have a good taste in music.

Tom: You like The Smiths?

Summer: Yeah. “To die by your side is such a heavenly way to die.” I love ‘em.

[Summer steps off the elevator]

Tom: Holy shit.

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