USA, 2009, 95 minutes
Sat, May 2 / 7:30 / Kabuki / DAYS02K (film) / DAYS02 (film+party)
CENTERPIECE Tom is an architect by training, a romantic by nature and a “perfectly adequate” greeting-card writer by trade (“Today you’re a man. Mazel tov on your Bar Mitzvah!”). He meets Summer—the sexy, quirky dream girl who doesn’t believe in love—when she takes a job in his office. This is Day 1 of their 500 days together, and if the set up sounds predictable, veteran music-video director Marc Webb does much to turn this tale on its head. For starters, Webb tells the story out of llinear sequence, with Summer dumping Tom over pancakes in the first ten minutes. The rest of the film reveals how they got to that point, and its aftermath, each segment beginning with the number of the day the couple is on—a delicious clue as to whether what follows will involve awkward courtship, playful flirtation, shower sex or the breaking of common household objects. With a soundtrack that includes the Smiths, Belle and Sebastian and current punks Black Lips, there’s a lot to love here: crisp dialogue, drunken karaoke, a bar fight, ironic voiceover, a split-screen fantasy sequence and a dance number set to Hall and Oates that’s nothing short of glorious. Leads Joseph Gordon-Levitt and Zooey Deschanel sizzle onscreen, with fine support from Geoffrey Arend and Matthew Gray Gubler as Tom’s well-intentioned, inept-at-love friends and Chloe Moretz as his wise-beyond-her-years sister. 500 Days of Summer is a slickly made anti-romantic comedy that happens to have plenty of romance and lots of comedy.
West Coast Premiere.