Saturday, 2 January 2010

When is a romcom not a romcom?

(500) Days of Summer is a quirky and amusing little romcom that is not a normal romcom, playing against most of the rules of that genre. Firstly, as the narrator tells us, this is NOT a love story. And then the film tells us this non-love story non-linear by dipping in and out at random within the 500 days that Tom and Summer are together to see where things went right and where they went wrong in their relationship.

James Gordon-Levitt is Tom, a pleasant and romantic young greetings card writer and wannabe architect. Zooey Deschanel is Summer, a fun filled girl who comes to work at Tom's place and who he immediately falls for. And Summer likes him too. Problem is she doesn't believe in love or relationships. And over the 500 days they are together we see how Tom's expectations and hopes start to come undone as he realises that the girl he believes is 'the one' might not share the same opinion about him. Or anyone. Or does she?

Both leads are very good. Gordon-Levitt is a good actor with an everyman charm about him that makes him easy to like and sympathise with and Deschanel is cute and sparky as the cynical but fun Summer. They are both good value to watch as are the supporting cast. The script is always amusing if never hilarious but it does have interesting insights in to the myth of love and romance. There is a great sequence where Tom has an angry rant at work about how movies and greetings cards and the world in general lies to us about love, selling us a product, not letting people say what they really feel. Poor dude is suffering but he has a good point.

Remarkably, though, (500) Days of Summer does have a fairly happy ending. It's just not the one you would expect from any normal romcom. And hooray for that.

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