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Mainstream - 500 Days of Summer

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500 Days of Summer
Zooey Deschanel, Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Geoffrey Arend
Directed by Marc Webb
Fox Home Entertainment 2009
95 minutes

500 Days of Summer is a rarity: an interesting romantic movie aka chick flick with something new to offer. If your idea of a romantic movie is boy gets girl, boy loses girl, boy runs around NYC on New Year’s Eve and finds girl in a city of millions (Harry Met Sally), you will be disappointed. On the other hand, if you like the idea of a romantic movie about realistic characters living a realistic life and facing realistic situations, 500 Days of Summer is quite a find.

Tom (Joseph Gordon-Levitt) works for a greeting card company as a writer. He wanted to be an architect but life does not always turn out the way you want it to (the first hint 500 Days of Summer is not your standard romantic movie). He falls in love with Summer, the new girl (the very original Zooey Deschanel). Summer has been burnt relationship wise so is not as dewy-eyed as Tom. Stuff happens and you get a very original movie.

500 Days of Summer is not formulaic, another plus for this chick flick. It is not told chronologically (but this does not mean you will get lost) and the characters are not Hollywood prototypes with ordinary jobs but fabulous condo apartments and so on. Tom and Summer are quite normal and their relationship and their feelings are also quite normal.  The magic in this romantic movie lies in it being realistic.

This movie is a very welcome change from the schmaltz we are usually served. If you are looking for escapism, you might be disappointed. If you are looking for a good movie, this DVD is it.

This is one of very few movies where the commentary track is actually interesting at times.

500 Days of Summer Blu-ray Disc Special Features: Feature commentary with Director Marc Webb, Writer Michael Weber, Co-Writer Scott Neustadter and Actor Joseph Gordon-Levitt; Lost Days of Summer: Deleted and Extended Scenes With Optional Commentary by Director Marc Webb, Writer Michael Weber, Co-Writer Scott Neustadter and Actor Joseph Gordon-Levitt “Love Testimonials”  “I Think We Should Stop Seeing Each Other” “Family Dinner” (Day 11) “Paul Meets Summer”  “Tom and Summer Argue”  “Tom in the Movie Theatre” (Day 286)  “The Worst Morning Ever”  “Tom Sees Summer Everywhere” (Day 306)  “Date With Allison” (Day 345) ; Not A Love Story – Making (500) Days of Summer; Summer At Sundance; Two Audition Tapes With Optional Commentary By Director Marc Webb; Summer Storyboards; Bank Dance Directed By Marc Webb; Mean’s Cinemash: “Sid and Nancy 500 Days of Summer”; Music Video: “Sweet Disposition” By Temper Trap; Six Conversations With Zooey and Joseph; Filmmaking Specials; Digital Copy of 500 Days of Summer

DVD Special Features are the commentary track and the deleted and extended scenes.

Richard Lanoie

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