(500) Days of Summer: A Smart Romantic Comedy

Believe or not there are some people in the world that HAVEN'T seen Transformers 2. Yes, I know it's hard to believe - especially with TF2 raking in almost three quarters of a billion dollars worldwide - but it's true! So what are these people willing watch if not the biggest blockbuster film of the summer? My guess is that they are part of the art house, indie-loving crowd and they were holding off for Joseph Gordon-Levitt's new film, (500) Days of Summer.

We haven't covered this film on Screen Rant yet, but better late than never. (500) Days of Summer looks to be a really good mid-summer date film, much like The Proposal last month, but with more subtle humor and insight, rather than the big laughs Green Lantern Deadpool Ryan Reynolds and Sandra Bullock brought to the screen. Today we've got the trailer for (500) Days of Summer, plus a musical montage featuring two songs from the film's excellent soundtrack.

This story about love (not a love story) follows Tom (Joseph Gordon-Levitt), a young man who works for a greeting card company in L.A.  When Summer (Zooey Deschanel) starts an intern job at the same company, she takes a liking to Tom and then he takes to loving her. Unfortunately, Summer doesn't return his love and they break up.  Summer isn't in the relationship for love, she's in it for fun, but Tom is a hopeless romantic and instead of letting her go, he sets out to win her back by reminding her of their 500 days together. Check out the trailer below:


I like Joseph Gordon-Levitt (who is also playing Cobra Commander in the upcoming GI Joe movie) and Zooey Deschanel is not as annoying to me as some people seem to find her. She's cute and her acting it pretty good, IMO. Matthew Gray Gubler (Criminal Minds, Alvin and the Chipmunks), co-stars as Tom's friend Paul. I'm interested to see if Gubler is able to shake the geeky, super-smart persona of Dr. Spencer Reed from Criminal Minds and step into a different character. Jon Heder had the problem of shaking Napoleon Dynamite comparisions for a few films after his break out role.

So far (500) Days of Summer has been generating some buzz on the festival circuit, most notability at Sundance and SXSW. The film is being considered as a major step in the right direction for the career of director Marc Webb, who up until this point, has done mostly feature-length music videos for Green Day and 3 Doors Down. A slight black cloud on this project could be the writing team of Scott Neustadter and Michael H. Weber, whose last project was The Pink Panther 2; but early reviews for (500) Days have been mostly positive, so maybe they've put the Pink Panther behind them and put together a smart and enjoyable script.

One of the things I like about these and most indie films is the soundtrack. Don't get me wrong, I like a good classical soundtrack as much as the next moviegoer, I actually own the LP for Ice Station Zebra, but sometimes it's nice to hear some more recent music that doesn't get 100 rotations a month on the top 40 stations. I've found some of my favorite bands and songs by watching indie films and it appears (500) Days will be no different.  The Smiths, Wolfmother, Regina Spektor and even Hall and Oates are just a few of the bands listed on the soundtrack.  A music montage was recently released that gives us two of songs, watch it below:

Fox Searchlight is producing (500) Days of Summer and the indie studio is quickly becoming one of my favorite studios.  Not everything they produce is cinematic gold (anyone remember Super Troopers and Club Dread?), but they've had more hits than misses. One Hour Photo, Thirteen, Napoleon Dynamite, Roll Bounce, Little Miss Sunshine, The Last King of Scotland, good gravy, the list goes on and on. I didn't even mention Choke, Juno or last year's Oscar phenomenon Slumdog Millionaire.  They're also releasing the upcoming roller derby movie Whip It! in October.

These type of movies aren't for everyone and (500) Days of Summer is no different but there is a market for them. I plan on seeing it with my wife when it opens August 7th, 2009 in my town and I'll post a review shortly after.

Do you like indie movies like this or do you tend to stick to more mainstream offerings?

(500) Days of Summer has a limited release on July 17, 2009 and gets a wider release over the next several weeks. Check the official website for full release dates.

Source:  Trailer Addict & You Tube

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