Reel Time with Middlest: Numbered Film

8 May

Director Marc Webb. Year 2009. Rating. PG-13. Length 95 Minutes.

“This is a story of boy meets girl. The boy, Tom Hansen of Margate, New Jersey, grew up believing that he’d never truly be happy until the day he met the one. This belief stemmed from early exposure to sad British pop music and a total mis-reading of the movie ‘The Graduate’. The girl, Summer Finn of Shinnecock, Michigan, did not share this belief. Since the disintegration of her parent’s marriage she’d only love two things. The first was her long dark hair. The second was how easily she could cut it off and not feel a thing. Tom meets Summer on January 8th. He knows almost immediately she is who he has been searching for. This is a story of boy meets girl, but you should know upfront, this is not a love story.”

Sigh. This movie is just so good. It’s funny, quirky, awkward, sad, creative – which makes it totally loveable. I like how in the introduction [quoted above] the narrator informs the audience that this is, indeed, a boy-meets-girl story, but it is not a love story. Then blasts Regina Spektor, who makes my heart sing every time I hear her.

The title of the film indicates a vague idea of what the movie is about: 500 days of the relationship between Summer Finn [Zooey Deschanel] and Tom Hansen [Joseph Gordon-Levitt].

One of my favorite things about the movie is that the story is not told in chronological order, but the way the movie is edited saves the audience from getting confused. The intro to each scene indicates which day the relationship is on and the viewer can anticipate the affect of the scene that lies ahead based on the coloring of the intro and the health of the tree that is illustrated. The movie toggles scenes in a way that you see the relationship progress and decompensate almost simultaneously, which is a unique way to portray the story.

Another thing I love about this story is that I adore both of the main characters, Summer and Tom. To me, there is no “bad guy” in the movie – which is a common theme in romantic comedies; there’s almost always someone who is douchey and not worth the other person’s time. But in this flick, both characters are written with a very honest and humanistic quality to them. Very likeable people can relate to either Tom or Summer. Personally I relate to Summer more than Tom, but there are plenty of Tom moments that make me point at the T.V., wink, and say, “Yeah, Tom…You are totally relate-able right now.”

And then there were the “SO TRUE” moments in the film. You know, the moments in a movie, tv show, or a book that makes you shout “that’s so freakin’ true…!” as you stomp your feet in excitement because the moment is so fucking relate-able?! No? Party of one? Ok. Well, a prime example that my sister and I always gush over is how “so freakin’ true” the Expectations VS. Reality scene is in the movie.  In this particular story it’s related to love, but it applies to many facets of expectations in life. Job interviews, how well your writing is perceived, sending out applications, planned night outs, anticipating a concert, first dates etc. Things don’t always work out the way you want to. Or reverse: Expectations are low and reality is the ultimate high! You know what I’m saying. Anyway, the film highlighted that which always makes me smirk, nod, and state, “this is so freakin’ true.”

And then there’s my ultimate favorite scene in the entire movie. It occurs quite early in the film and it’s so awesome  my words will never do it justice. Ah, yes the expectation bar is set high – but will the reality meet the expectation? Ha! See what I did there?! Another example of expectations vs reality. Sigh. Just click on this link and hopefully you’ll fall in love with it, too. 🙂

So, ladies and gents – there ya have it. (500) Days of Summer is the highlighted numbered film in the “Reel Time with Middlest” blog series. If you’re in the Milwaukee area and ever want to watch it with me, please let me know. It’s a flick I can watch over and over again and not get [too] sick of it.

And if you’re a sucker and are not convinced that this movie is awesomely reely good, then watch the preview below.




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