500 Days of Summer celebrates 10 Years

Joseph Gordon-Levitt and Zooey Deschanel in (500) Days of Summer. Courtesy of Fox Searchlight Pictures.

When 500 Days of Summer was released in theaters ten years ago, the film injected a spark into the romantic comedy genre.

In the event that you forgot, 500 Days of Summer is an anti-romantic comedy.  The film tells the story of Tom Hansen (Joseph Gordon-Levitt) and Summer Finn (Zooey Deschanel).  The film does not tell their story in a linear narrative This honestly does not matter because it’s not a film that requires you to think too much.  At some point, Summer decides to break up with Tom, forcing him into a state of depression.  His sister, Rachel (Chloë Grace Moretz), does her best to help but it’s not enough.  The same goes for McKenzie (Geoffrey Arend) and Paul (Matthew Gray Gubler).

Even though Tom is a trained architect, he meets Summer while working for a greeting card company.  Summer just happens to be Vance’s (Clark Gregg) new assistant.  Despite what they might have in common with each other, he doesn’t think he’s at the same level.  Where Tom believes in love, Summer doesn’t.  How are you supposed to fall in love when your supposed soulmate doesn’t believe in it?  It’s a fascinating premise and one that the film is successfully able to explore from start to finish.

However, all good things must come to an end.  For Tom, this comes when he interviews for an architect firm and meets the appropriately named Autumn (Minka Kelly).  Could she be his soulmate?  We might never know and that’s alright because not everything requires a sequel.

I’ve attended the Sundance Film Festival for two consecutive years.  Until attending my first film festival, I would keep my eye out for what I want to see among the selections.  It should come as no surprise as this small indie comedy would have my attention.  Obviously, I was a fan of Zooey Deschanel and Joseph Gordon-Levitt.  When I finally did see the film during the summer, I came away feeling very impressed with Scott Neustadter and Michael H. Weber’s screenplay.  The two writers, combined with director Marc Webb, injected a freshness into the rom-com genre that we haven’t seen for some time.

When we least expect it, the film (and Tom) suddenly breaks into a dance number to the tune of Hall & Oates’ “You Make My Dreams.”  The dance number is choreographed pretty well.  Honestly, I forgot about it until watching again for the tenth anniversary.  Though I do feel bad that Summer isn’t involved.  Obviously, she’s the reason why Tom is celebrating!

While comedies might struggle at the box office now, this wasn’t the case for 2009.  Sure, there was The Hangover and The Proposal.  These two became massive hits and the latter would revitalize Betty White’s career!  As for 500 Days of Summer, the film would become a hit with a worldwide box office of $60.7 million against a $7.5 million production budget.

Injecting a bit of freshness into the genre, 500 Days of Summer is still a hit as the indie anti-romantic comedy hits the ten year mark.

DIRECTOR:  Marc Webb
SCREENWRITERS:  Scott Neustadter & Michael H. Weber
CAST:  Zooey Deschanel, Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Geoffrey Arend, Chloë Grace Moretz, Matthew Gray Gubler, Clark Gregg, Rachel Boston, Minka Kelly

Fox Searchlight Pictures opened 500 Days of Summers in theaters on July 17, 2019. The film is available on Blu-ray, DVD, and Digital.  Grade: 5/5

Danielle Solzman

Danielle Solzman is native of Louisville, KY, and holds a BA in Public Relations from Northern Kentucky University and a MA in Media Communications from Webster University. She roots for her beloved Kentucky Wildcats, St. Louis Cardinals, Indianapolis Colts, and Boston Celtics. Living less than a mile away from Wrigley Field in Chicago, she is an active reader (sports/entertainment/history/biographies/select fiction) and involved with the Chicago improv scene. She also sees many movies and reviews them. She has previously written for Redbird Rants, Wildcat Blue Nation, and Hidden Remote/Flicksided. From April 2016 through May 2017, her film reviews can be found on Creators.