This is not a love story, this is a story about love. That tagline, along with the witty opening subtitles prove that this film is not you’re average rom-com. It tells the story of the ill-fated relationship between hopeless romantic Tom (Joseph Gordon-Levitt) and free-spirited Summer (Zoey Duschanel).
Sticking true to it’s opening statement, this is a romantic comedy on a very different level. Told entirely from Tom’s perspective, the relationship starts simply, after discovering they have a shared love for The Smiths one thing leads to another.
It is the innovative directing that is perhaps the best thing about this film. The five-hundred days skip from day one to day fifty all the while avoiding any possible confusion for the viewer. Instead, it gives a better overall appraisal of the relationship making the story more complete. There is the occasional documentary style clip where Tom’s two closest friends assess their views on love. Tom’s expectations of a garden party hosted by his ex-girlfriend Summer is brutally juxtaposed with the reality of the event. Then, of course there’s the Disney-esque musical number where Tom celebrates his first night spent with Summer. All this beautifully combines with the witty, original script by Scott Neustadter and Michael H Weber together with brilliantly subtle performances by Joseph Gordon-Levitt and Zoey Duschanel and a fantastic soundtrack.
As we’re told from the start “this is not a love story” this is not a film for those who want a cuddly, happily ever after romance. Instead it’s a unique portrait of unrequited love and – like Michel Gondry’s Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind – it shows that love never runs smoothly.