By Katie O’Connor
After much anticipation for the cute, indie, not-your-typical-love story “500 Days of Summer,” I was so ready for the breakout movie of the summer. After a disappointing “Wolverine,” I had lost faith in the film industry to accurately predict which blockbuster is going to be the talk of the school when the semester starts.
Yet I had hope for “500 Days,” which was rumored to be the next “Little Miss Sunshine” or “Juno.” Another independent film that fit the formula for a breakout hit: a cute girl, an odd boy, and a different take on the usual story. With the incandescent Zooey Deschanel and Joseph Gordon-Levitt (who has a permanent place in the hearts of everyone who grew up watching “3rd Rock From the Sun”), “500 Days of Summer” promised to be a refreshing change from the monotonous slew of unoriginal movies that packed movie theatres this summer.
Perhaps it was my high expectations which led to my disappointment. Summer (Deschanel) and Tom (Levitt) make a lovely couple, yet their chemistry leaves something to be desired. Funny moments pepper the film, but never last as long as they should have. Geoffrey Arend (who some may remember from his memorable cameo in “Super Troopers”) plays Levitt’s boozing best friend McKenzie who is easily the most energetic force in the film. Shunted to the side as the comic relief, McKenzie never really develops and is therefore forgotten by the end of the film.
In an attempt to produce dynamic relationships, director Marc Webb includes Chloe Moretz as Tom’s wise, pre-teen sister who acts as his confidant. This not-so-subtle throwback to Holden’s friendship with his sister Phoebe in J.D Salinger’s “The Catcher in the Rye” goes undeveloped and is thus reduced to an incomprehensible gimmick of the film. Though the story is interesting and the cast is strong, there are some inconsistencies— specifically with Summer and her attitude toward that big scary thing called love. This tale of lust and loss ends with a ray of hope for Tom that unfortunately is not strong enough to overcome the film’s pervasive undercurrent of soul-shattering depression.
Overall this is a film worth seeing, but make sure it’s a reduced-rate matinee so you get your money’s worth.