DVD Review by Kam Williams
Headline: DVD Revolves around Romantic Wooing Woman Doesn’t Believe in Love
If you prefer your sitcoms more sophisticated than sophomoric, then this sublime storyline might be right up your alley. It revolves around the misfortunes of Tom Hansen (Joseph Gordon-Levitt), an architectural school dropout who has settled for a career writing inscriptions for a Hallmark-style greeting card manufacturer. The plot thickens when this incurable romantic falls head-over-heels for the company’s pretty new secretary, Summer Finn (Zooey Deschanel) on her first day on the job.
Convinced that they’re destined to be lifemates, he gradually summons up the courage to approach her. Over drinks afterhours at an office karaoke party, the two exchange their feelings about romance. Already smitten, Tom is crestfallen to learn that she doesn’t believe that true love exists. All is not lost, however, as Summer still is willing to date, maybe even as a friend with benefits.
The two subsequently proceed to embark on a year and a half-long affair which proves emotionally-draining to Tom, since the more intimate they become the harder he finds it to heed her repeated warnings not to become attached or possessive. Meanwhile, the inscrutable object of his affection remains relatively-hard to read, especially given his tendency to fantasize about their future together.
The contrast between his increasingly-unreasonable expectations and reality provide the cinematic grist for the mill in (500) Days of Summer, a character-driven dramedy exhibiting a refreshingly un-formulaic attitude. The movie marks the praiseworthy directorial debut of Marc Webb who must be credited for coaxing convincing performances out of co-stars Joseph Gordon-Levitt and Zooey Deschanel as a couple seemingly stuck in an untenable situation where one wants more while the other just wants out. Webb also effectively employs a collection of clever technical devices (such as split screens and frequent flashbacks) in a fashion that’s both dizzying and downright delightful.
An introspective, bittersweet romp reminiscent of the best of Woody Allen.
Excellent (4 stars)
Rated PG-13 for profanity and sexuality.
Running time: 95 minutes
Studio: Fox Home Entertainment
DVD Extras: Feature commentary with director Marc Webb, scriptwriter Michael Weber, co-writer Scott Neustadter and actor Joseph Gordon-Levitt, deleted and extended scenes with optional commentary.