I was disconsolate and pretty miserable when I watched (500) Days of Summer. I felt stuck. It was one of those days. About 95 minutes later I was strangely uplifted – I didn’t quite feel like anything was possible but the film definitely brightened my day. That’s one thing I love about movies, music, and books; they can make my world bigger. They can make me feel intensely, broaden my horizons. Give me a different perspective. If only for a while I can see life in a slightly different light.
I admire directors that can lift you up (and I don’t talk about those nonsense, overly sentimental flicks with quick, cliche happy endings that follow the standard Hollywood formula) way more than those that just bring you down. I don’t mind dark movies at all – some of my favorite films are heavy and gloomy indeed, but I can’t see what purpose stories without a glimpse of hope fill. Some directors only seem to want to make their audience just as depressed as they are.
500 Days of Summer is easily one of the most enjoyable feel-good films I have seen lately, and I really identified with the love-sick male protagonist (this is starting to sound like a junior high school report). Things were perhaps a bit too polished at times and I have seen better films this year, but (500) Days is still far from your average American romantic, humorous drama. It has a pretty excellent soundtrack as well. Now if I just could hold on to the feeling it gave me. Other fine 2009 films in the same genre are Adventureland and Away We Go.