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Days of Summer (10/10)
by Tony Medley
Runtime 96 minutes.
OK for children.
Now this is a movie worth waiting for.
Directed by Marc Webb in his debut, and written by Scott Neustadter &
Michael H. Weber, this is a romance from real life. In fact, all three
claim to have had flings with the prototype for Summer (Zooey Deschanel).
Tom (Joseph Gordon-Levitt), a budding
architect, but employed as a writer of greeting card verse, falls for
his boss’s new assistant, Summer, and what man wouldn’t? The film jumps
from scene to scene in the affair between days 1 and 500 in a charmingly
Where is the man who hasn’t met the girl of
his dreams, only to be told that she just wants to be “friends,” and
isn’t looking for a serious relationship? Where do women come up with
this stuff? Well, that’s what Summer tells Tom, even though her actions
belie her words as they quickly become friends with privileges.
I’m a guy and Zooey Deschanel is a girl who
stole my heart the first time I saw her on film. I asked my friend, a
girl, if she felt the same way about Gordon-Levitt after seeing this
film, and she did. A romantic comedy could hope for no more than to have
this type of reaction in its audience to its two stars.
I remember Gordon-Levitt for his wonderful
performance as a teenager on the TV sitcom “Third Rock from the Sun”
(1996-2001). Despite his youth he created a memorable, unique character.
He has developed into the terrific actor that role foretold. Here he
captures the dilemma of a guy desperately in love with an inscrutable
girl so spot on that it would be a crime if he didn’t get an Oscar®
nomination for this performance.
As to Deschanel, I can’t figure out if she’s
acting or if it’s just the way she is (she had a similar role in 2008’s
“Yes Man”, and I had a similar reaction to her, like, “What’s her phone
number?”). Since that’s a perfect definition of a great actress, she
should get a nomination, too. But then she would have to be nominated
every time she appears on film. For my money she’s a budding superstar.
She’s more beautiful and is a much better actress than, say, Julia
Everything about this movie is terrific. Along
with the perfect casting and wonderful acting, are the way it’s written
and the overall film-making. A wry narrator (Richard McGonagle, with a
voice with just the right touch of whimsy) occasionally comes in to make
comments about what’s going on. The non-chronological way of telling the
story alerts the audience to things it might miss if told in the
For me, watching Deschanel would be enough to
make this movie a winner. With everything else so good, this is one of
the best of the year.