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500 Days of Summer Critique

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Marc Webb's (500) Days of Summer is complex romantic comedy that conveys worthy messages about love and relationships to its audience. This movie has tried to show the world what a real relationship looks like, standing out against typical American romantic comedies. It was released in January 2009 at the Sundance film festival, but made public in August. Written by Scott Neustadter, this movie depicts a young man recovering from a failed relationship, remembering the good and bad times he endured with Summer Finn. As the tagline states, "This is not a love story, this is a story about love."

This movie was constructed as a nonlinear narrative, flipping forward and back in Tom Hansen's (Joseph Gordon-Levitt) perspective, through different times in his relationship with Summer Finn (Zooey Deschanel) You really see the contrast in emotions by the way one scene will show Tom happy, running around Ikea with his girlfriend in hand - a happy song playing in the background - the next of him depressed and alone on a rainy day with a sombre tune. The conflicting phases he goes through creates a sort of see-saw of emotion that makes the film interesting and thought provoking. It also shows that there are lots of good and bad times that make a relationship in the real world and that you have to keep trying at it but if it doesn't work it really wasn't meant to be.

The soundtrack, an important factor in any film, managed to compliment and emphasize certain moments in (500) Days of Summer perfectly. The scene when Tom and Summer are on a train to their friend's wedding, they talk for the first time since they broke up. Sweet Disposition by the Temper Trap plays in the background. The song captures Tom's hope and happiness in the fact that they could possibly get back together and was one of the best scenes in the movie. This goes hand in hand with the cinematography. Most stereotypical romantic comedies are set in New York, the centre of hope and ambition for people. As a change (500) Days of Summer was shot in down town Los Angeles. It is more subtle backdrop and gives the movie a more ordinary, realistic feel. Locations like the park and quiet parts of the city were used to enhance the mood whether it was happy and sunny or sad and dreary.

The major ideology that is expressed in the film is that relationships are messy and unpredictable. From the start, you found out that Tom was a dreamer, who always searched for "the one" to spend his life with, while Summer was the complete opposite. She expressed clearly to Tom that love was a fantasy to her and the most you could really hope for is someone who will make your life enjoyable. Tom didn't take this view seriously hoping he could change her mind, yet he never really did until they broke up and she dated another man. This portrays the message that for love to really exist



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