‘(500) Days’ warms theaters as summer winds down

Clarissa Gabriel

As the last days of summer dwindle down, it’s hard to find the right blockbuster to hand your $10 over to in order to get the most bang for your buck. Here’s a way to make it easy: don’t hand it over to a special-effects-filled, storyline-lacking blockbuster. Look for something new, refreshing and honest. No movie fits that bill more than Marc Webb’s “(500) Days of Summer.”

Unlike most cinematic productions of late, “(500) Days” is a blast of fresh air in the stale summer movie business. The narrator of the movie begins by providing the truth to the audience. “You should know upfront: this isn’t a love story; it’s a story about love.” Therein lies the problematic truth in the contradiction: If this isn’t a love story, what is it?

At a time when the media depicts romance as an unattainable flurry of events perfectly falling into place or as suspense-filled passionate, unavoidable situation, the average movie-goer may find themselves lost. “(500) Days of Summer” offers a realistic, poignant glimpse at what love is like for the rest of us: tragic, unexpected, embarrassing and beautiful.

The story revolves around greeting card writer Tom Hansen, played by Joseph Gordon-Levitt, who embodies the ideal protagonist with his heart on his sleeve.

He believes that he will never truly be happy until he meets “the one.”

And then, just like that, Summer Finn, played by actress Zooey Deschanel, waltzes into his life, openly stating that she neither believes in the need for boyfriends, nor does she believe in love. Thus begins the back-and-forth scrutiny and humor of their relationship.

The rest of the movie is creatively presented in a non-sequential storyline that portrays the story of their “Sid and Nancy”-esque relationship.

Both Gordon-Levitt and Deschanel play their part of star-crossed lovers wonderfully, providing the feelings of both the beauty and pain of love. Perhaps the true gold in this movie is not only the creativity and acting, but in the attention to detail.

The soundtrack is itself in need of praise. It is perfectly crafted to fill the viewer with indie sounds, eliciting the emotion of each scene with tunes by Feist, Wolfmother and Regina Spektor.

One of the most obvious musical nods is towards the Smiths, whose classic 1980s alternative songs can be heard and appreciated not only in the soundtrack, but also in the dialogue during their first encounter.

If you’ve ever been in love, ever lost love or ever been the unrequited love to someone else, this movie is for you.

With honesty, realistic characters, an excellent soundtrack and a subtly smart storyline, you’ll know which movie to hand your money to.