I really really liked 500 Days of Summer.
Fabulous soundtrack. Fabulous people. Pop culture references that cater to more of an Urban Outfitters crowd than to those who prefer to hang out at Abercrombie.
The protagonists even hold hands at IKEA and melt for one another while playing pretend house amongst the BILLY bookcases.
Yes the whole niche is becoming easily recognizable – a plot line catering to late 20’s hipster angst questioning the character’s place in the world with a torturous rollercoaster romance thrown in, all set to a soundtrack of up and coming independent music that gets as much critical praise as the movie itself – but at least 500 Days of Summer takes a different approach.
The movie jolts back and forth over the 500-day long course of the rocky relationship between Joseph Gordon-Levitt and Zooey Deschanel, but it’s Deschanel who wears the pants and brings the drama.
Levitt appears simultaneously angular and liquid on screen. He is dynamic and appealing even when wounded (and boy did he set my heart a flutter with his gangly frame and adorable smirk!) Decor-enthusiasts will like the scene where he gains entry to Summer’s apartment which looks like a mash-up of Anthropologie’s home department and a grandmother’s drawing room and anyone who has ever had their heart broken will be bale to empathize with the results of a love lost.
Soundtrack standouts include “Sweet Disposition” by the Temper Trap and “Vagabond” by Wolfmother. The zooey-crooned She & Him cover of “Please Please Please” by the Smiths is sweet, but if I had to choose between versions I’d go with Dream Academy’s from Ferris.
Fun fact: Gordon-Levitt listened to She & Him’s debut album everyday during filming to help realize the electric chemistry between Zooey and him (cute!)
PS- Gordon-Levitt started a website called hitRECORD.org that is quite interesting
PPS- enjoy these sexy snaps of Gordon-Levitt from GQ last year: