(500) Days of Summer

 

Fox Home Entertainment

 

Rating: PG-13

 

Reason for the Rating: Sexual material and language.

 

Plot Summary: A young man recounts his love affair with a quirky and wonderful woman, telling their story in out-of-order flashbacks and memories.

 

PopFam Recommends: (500) Days of Summer is creatively constructed and alive with emotion. It's warm and thoughtful. It's a film you'll want to see, and maybe see again with your teenagers.

 

(500) Days of Summer is not your typical love story. Thankfully, so.

 

Don't expect a love-starved woman or a leading man who sweeps every woman in the audience off her feet. This is a movie for those of us who like the adventure of life and love, and the occasional film that takes a different course.

 

(500) Days of Summer is told from the viewpoint of Tom Hansen (Joseph Gordon-Levitt), who falls in love with Summer Finn (Zooey Deschanel) the first day she shows up as an administrative assistant for his boss. Summer is the girl-next-door. She's cute, sweet, and a little quirky. Okay, she's a lot quirky, but in a good way. Except that she doesn't believe in love. Which is a problem for Tom. Summer wants to enjoy the experience, have a great time, without the encumbrance of commitment and the emotion of love. Love just leads to hurt feelings, she figures, and who wants that?

 

Well, Tom wants that. And he wants it with Summer. Caught up in the glory of infatuation, Tom sees just how perfect she is. Comfortable with herself, she isn't judgmental. Which means he can explore his dreams and share them with her, something he's never done before. How could anyone be more perfect than Summer? If he could just change that one troublesome thing about her not looking for a commitment!

 

You know, there are movies that tell a story, and then there are movies that weave a tapestry. They draw you in, and catch you with the feeling and angst of the characters. This is one such movie. Director Marc Webb uses many different means of keeping the audience captivated. From a storyline that jumps from middle to beginning, to end to middle, a musical number, and even some black and white, (500) Days of Summer isn't a movie you walk away from and forget. It's not predictable. You won't find yourself saying, "That was just like the movie she was in last year." It is a creative film that takes a small look at the journey of love, loss, and those horrible days afterward. And that makes it a movie most of us can relate to (unless you were one of those rare people who married your high-school sweetheart), with a character we all understand.

 

While Tom and Summer certainly don't agree on love, they each grow from their relationship. They are changed by the tension, the desire, and the experience of their connection, but is it going to be one that keeps them together? Difficult relationships are miserable, but they are usually the ones that change us, and make us "grow up," and this is no less true for Tom.

 

Bonus: The Blu-ray Disc version of this DVD includes deleted and extended scenes, a making-of featurette, interviews with the stars, audition tapes, music video, and more. Additionally, the Blu-ray version includes a second disc with a transferable "digital copy" of the film for viewing on your computer and portable media players (such as iPod or Playstation).

 

Let’s Talk About It

Use these questions to spark discussion among family members who are interested in this movie:

 

• How have you been changed by the love of another person? Explain?

 

• What dreams have you laid aside for something more practical?

 

• Jesus is the ultimate lover of our souls. How do you think he'd relate to Summer? To Tom? To you?

 

--JW

 

Note: All product-related graphics in this article are standard publicity/promotional shots and are owned by their respective publisher.

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