Blu-ray and DVD Reviews

(500) Days of Summer

Reviewed by: Scott Chitwood
Movie Rating:
8.5 out of 10
Extras Rating:
6.5 out of 10
Movie Details:
View here

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Rating: PG-13

Starring:
Joseph Gordon-Levitt as Tom Hansen
Zooey Deschanel as Summer Finn
Geoffrey Arend as McKenzie
Chloe Moretz as Rachel Hansen
Matthew Gray Gubler as Paul
Clark Gregg as Vance
Patricia Belcher as Millie
Rachel Boston as Alison
Minka Kelly as Autumn

Special Features:
- Audio Commentary with Director Marc Webb and Actor Joseph Gordon-Levitt
- Lost Days of Summer - Deleted and Extended Scenes with Optional Commentary

Other Info:
Widescreen (2.40:1)
Dolby Digital 5.1 Surround Sound
Spanish and French Languages
Spanish Subtitles
Running Time: 95 Minutes

The Details:
The following is the official description of the film:

"In this quirky romantic comedy about love and fate, a young greeting card writer (Joseph Gordon-Levitt) is hopelessly, helplessly searching for the girl of his dreams... and his new co-worker, Summer Finn (Zooey Deschanel), may just be "the one." But the 500 days of their offbeat relationship reveal (in no particular order) that the road to happiness can be unpredictable, uncontrollable - and unbelievably funny!"

"(500) Days of Summer" is rated PG-13 for sexual material and language.

Mini-Review:
"(500) Days of Summer" was a real pleasant surprise. I had heard of it, but otherwise walked into the film with no knowledge of what it was about. I found it to be a great romantic comedy about the rise and fall of a relationship. The first third of the film shows Tom Hansen becoming infatuated with Summer Finn, a new assistant at the greeting card company where he works. We see all the blind puppy love you expect when a guy develops a crush on a seemingly perfect girl. In the second third of the film, we see Tom and Summer's relationship blossoming. When Tom finally gets the girl of his dreams, there's a hilarious scene where he walks out on the street and everyone starts congratulating him. Tom looks in a car window at his reflection and he sees Han Solo from "Star Wars" looking back at him. Best "Star Wars" reference evar! The scene then gets more and more absurd as people break into song, then dance, then cartoon birds fly around him. It all comes so far out of left field yet it works perfectly. The final third of the movie follows their relationship inevitably disintegrating and Tom wallowing in depression and self-pity. What's great about "(500) Days of Summer" is that it tells this story somewhat non-linearly. In the first act where we see Tom looking at Summer as the perfect girl, the movie then briefly flashes forward showing Tom bitterly looking at Summer with a new point of view. It's a great contrast. The movie then offers up a big twist to the resolution of the story, then a very satisfying ending that, I think, delivers the ultimate message of the film.

The performances are great all the way around. Joseph Gordon-Levitt returns to his comedy roots as Tom Hansen. It's great seeing this relationship through his eyes. He handles both the infatuation and the eventual disillusionment equally well. (If Tobey Maguire ever leaves "Spider-Man," Gordon-Levitt has my vote to play Peter Parker!) Zooey Deschanel is also great as Summer Finn. It's easy to see why Tom would fall for her, yet Deschanel gives her a vulnerability and a reluctance to get into a relationship that is equally believable. These two leads are backed up by a strong supporting cast, but the movie is undeniably theirs.

"(500) Days of Summer" is a movie that has independent film sensibilities but can appeal to general audiences. It is well worth checking out and the awards nominations are certainly well-deserved.

They unfortunately skimped a bit on the bonus features. All you'll find is an audio commentary and four deleted scenes. Most notable is a deleted scene that contrasts the big, happy musical number mentioned above. It takes place after he breaks up with Summer. Rather than seeing Han Solo in the car window, he sees an ugly version of himself. People run into him on the street. He knocks over a guy offering free beer. The cartoon bird poops on him. It's an amusing moment. Also in the deleted scene we see Tom's parents who are otherwise not seen in the movie.

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