I had been hearing what a great little flick this was so the wife & I huddled together on our couch and fired it up and, much to my surprise…it IS a good little romance. In my opinion, it’s not an Oscar-worthy romance, but it IS a quirky little independent film that will probably get a lot of attention the closer the Oscars get.
Tom is a hopeless romantic. He believes that love at first sight still exists and is dead set on finding “the one”. Summer is his exact opposite. She has relationship issues and isn’t ready to be in a committed situation. Of course, they get together, have a great time together and eventually have sex. And then they have more good times. And then things start to go bad and then they get worst. And then they break up. But the fun thing about this movie is how it presents this all-to-familiar movie cliche in a different way. Instead of telling the tale in order (a la “When Harry Met Sally”), it’s told in scattered events, bouncing from Day 1 to Day 144 then back to Day 23 and so on, throughout the 500 days of their relationship. It’s a formula that works surprisingly well for (500) and it is truly the most unique quality about it. But that is enough.
Romantic movies have really become a dime a dozen lately and they tend to get really boring quickly. But in this case, much like another classic film, “Eternal Sunshine Of The Spotless Mind”, this movie has enough unique qualities and the lead characters are interesting enough that it carries itself pretty well. Joseph Gorden-Levitt shows surprising range in a somewhat one-dimensional character and Zoey Deschanel, who I have never really thought too highly of as an actress, brings a certain likeability to a character who could have very easily gotten on my nerves. It’s not really a unique story, but the way it’s told make it instantly interesting…and it certainly held MY in interest through the entire film.
So if you are in need of a good date movie and need something that can appeal to men AND women, then (500) is definitely a good rental. But Oscar quality? Hmmmmm…I don’t think so.
Overall Rating: B