Sundance 2009 Review: Marc Webb's 500 Days of Summer

January 18, 2009

Marc Webb's 500 Days of Summer

There was a magical feeling in the air when I sat down in Eccles to watch the world premiere of Marc Webb's 500 Days of Summer. As the lights dimmed, a chill went down my spine, as I somehow knew I was about to watch a phenomenal film. There are always outstanding indie gems like this at Sundance every year, but it's even more amazing to set high expectations have them still be surpassed. 500 Days of Summer did just that - it took everything I was hoping this would be and gave me so much more. Unless something else comes along by surprise in the next few days, this will easily be my favorite film of the festival.

500 Days of Summer is not a love story. If anything, it's more than just a love story, it's a look at life and love told in an offbeat way that remarkably we can all inherently understand. This is a story about a woman named Summer (Zooey Deschanel) who doesn't believe true love exists, and the young man named Tom (Joseph Gordon-Levitt) who falls for her. Webb fragments the 500 days that Tom and Summer spend together by showing us pieces at a time, out of order, and using title cards to identify which day (out of 500) it is we're seeing. It starts at end, jumps to the beginning, then shows us nearly every moment in between.

I thought I had seen everything in the way of relationship comedies, but obviously not. It's an immense challenge to be able to make a new indie comedy that succeeds past the numerous classics in the genre, but the script from newcomers Scott Neustadter and Michael H. Weber and the direction from Marc Webb did push those boundaries. It's Webb's wonderful shooting style and his use of the greatest music selection I've heard in the last 12 months that gives 500 Days of Summer the edge it needed to stand out. There are so many wonderful moments in 500 Days of Summer, that it is truly impossible not to fall in love with it.

There was a moment where the music switched to a score instead of a pop rock track and the laughter had settled. And I sat there, awe-struck, realizing that it had flawlessly floated across the line between being a light-hearted comedy and a sensible and emotional romance without as much as a hiccup. As the scene continued and just as tears began to well up in my eyes, it picked back up with some humor. It's that impeccable mesh of laugh-out-loud comedy and utterly realistic storytelling that made this the film that I've come to love the most at Sundance. 500 Days of Summer is a wonderful, must see, authentic indie gem.

Sundance Rating: 10 out of 10

Find more posts in Opinions, Sundance 09

Discover more around the web:

  • It's going to be a long, long wait until July 24th for the rest of us. Suppose I'll just keep watching the teaser over and over, and over and over until then.
  • moviefan553
    I saw the trailer for this and it peaked my interest in this film and with this review I am going to see this movie opening day when it comes out in Wide Release. This sounds like the Greatest Romantic Comedy of all time and with the most recent romantic comedies being completely horrible this one sounds like it can knock everything out of the park.
  • -Peter-
    yay, Zooey! I'm so happy that there's a good romantic comedy type of movie coming out. it's gonna be a long wait though
  • brett weber
    Nice! I really enjoy both of these actors, can't wait to see it. Great site, btw.
  • DinoChow
    Awesome! Let's get it in theaters already! Any word on when its coming out?
  • Ahh good! I have equal if expectations for this film as well, Alex. I'm glad it turned out to be as golden as it seems. I just hope they don't give away too many clips online. I wanna have a blank palette walking into the theatre. This 'teaser' is all we need honestly. If someone doesn't get sucked into the trailer, I'd really need to hear an explanation why. This will walk away with some awards for sure!
  • Richard
    This looks like one of those films that I would get really, really bored watching, could be wrong tho. I'll do a streaming Netflix on it someday.
  • F.C.
    i want to watch this now!! why can't it be june already? i wish i could have go to Sundance myself, i adore Zooey!
  • D.A.M
    Looks great, but Alex...are you and Peter connected to the hip? Or do you guys just agree on almost everything.
  • Charlotte
    This was the last Sundance movie I watched this year. It was the best movie I have seen in quite a while. I can't wait for it to hit theaters because I will go see it again. I missed large portions of the movie because the audience was laughing so loudly and for so long. Great film!
  • OMG wow this film looks FUCKIN AMAZEING!! I loved garden state, eternal sunshine, and juno, and this film feels like all of them at once and more. Can`t wait to see it!!!!!!!!!!!!




Alex's Top 10 - 2016
1. La La Land
2. Paterson
3. Arrival
4. Captain Fantastic
5. 20th Cent. Women
6. Pete's Dragon
7. Jackie
8. Kubo & Two Strings
9. Everybody Wants
10. Wilderpeople
Click Here for Thoughts

Jeremy's Top 10 - 2016
1. Moonlight
2. The Handmaiden
3. High-Rise
4. Elle
5. Arrival
6. Kubo & Two Strings
7. 13th
8. Jackie
9. Toni Erdmann
10. The Witch
Click Here for Thoughts


Subscribe to our feed or daily newsletter:
Follow Alex's main profile on twitter:
For the news posts only, follow this acct:
Add our feed to your Feedly: follow us in feedly