The timing of my viewing of (500) Days of Summer worked out nicely following a "screening" of Adam. Both are movies about love, even though the former defiantly states the contrary during its opening minutes. Whether or not that statement was a marketing technique or an attempt to stand out from its genre matters little since (500) does stand out in some ways, particularly because its main character is a male. Joseph Gordon-Levitt plays Tom, a young man who writes greeting cards for a living in Los Angeles. Tom believes in true love. Then he meets Summer (Zoey Deschanel), who doesn't. A relationship buds, although Summer hesitates to define it beyond friendship--with benefits (great dental plan, long-term sick leave, that sort of thing).
Spoilers Below for Adam and (500) Days:
Roger Ebert argues that Adam wrapped things up too nicely, and after reading his review of that film, I agreed with him. Perhaps the ending came about too easily, but this flaw was mitigated because the ending was unconventional. (500) too is unconventional in some ways, yet it surprisingly left me a bit irritated, and relieved that the movie was over. Despite (or maybe because of) Tom's utter niceness and his pouting face, I wasn't all that interested that the movie seemed to be all about him and his problems, wants, and needs. The lesson he learned was perhaps inevitable, delayed because the filmmakers chose to give us a sort of non-linear linear story. Yay, Tom. Summer realized you were right all along that there is true love, and GO TOM, you can find another girl...
End of Spoilers for Adam, but not for (500) Days:
There were a couple of standout moments: the scene where Tom's diabetes-inducing love-happiness results in a song and dance routine was quite funny (and perhaps those of you familiar with Fletch Lives were reminded of a similar scene in that film involving rosy expectations and the incorporation of music and cartoon bluebirds). Joseph Gordon-Levitt is a good actor, and I think he and his counterpart did a nice job. The film itself leaves me feeling ambivalent. It was such a contradiction of itself (and perhaps rightly so): both whimsical and cynical, modern and old-fashioned, and carried on the new cliche of splicing indie-folk-pop songs intermittently with its own score (which Adam did as well). Watch them both and compare.
Directed by Marc Webb. With Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Zoey Deschanel, Geoffrey Arend, Chloe Moretz, Matthew Gray Gubler. 95 min. ★★½