This is not a review. Only kidding, it is. For those of you who have not seen this modern day romantic comedy starring Joseph Gordon-Levitt and Zooey Deschanel, the movie starts with a blatant confession to warn viewers that this is not their typical love story. And it isn’t. Think of it as a how-to dating guide for people today. A how-to dating guide that tells you that not everything is how it seems. To start off, our two main characters, Tom Hansen and Summer Finn are not your typical rom-com stereotypes. The bulk of the movie is seen from Tom’s point of view, which portrays him as a particularly sensitive believer in love who falls for a cynical girl who does not believe in relationships.
Jumping from day to day, we see how aspiring architect Tom falls for Summer quickly and easily when he meets her at work. Liking the same band (The Smiths) and banana fish leads Tom to believe that they are extremely compatible. In the beginning, Summer is extremely upfront about her beliefs and has no trouble expressing that she thinks love isn’t real. Tom doesn’t care and falls for Summer anyway. Unfortunately for his character, Summer is not swayed by his persistence and belief that their love is true. The movie is punctuated with conversations Tom has with his friends and his younger sister, whom warn him not to fall too hard for Summer. Jumping back and forth between happier times and Tom’s depression, we see the clear contrast of exactly how deeply he feels about Summer. Amazingly, the movie manages to also convey accurately how Summer feels as well and doesn’t turn her into the “bad guy”.
Gordon-Levitt manages to excellently portray a man who is clearly head-over-heels in love. He and Deschanel have a real chemistry and their characters come naturally to them, which makes this film all the more endearing. It manages to capture the true essence of what falling in love is like. As viewers, we are privy to what exactly Tom loves about Summer, and in being so, we manage to feel exactly how Tom does through his sojourn through love. It has an almost documentary-type feel to how a relationship going well can go south. This is definitely a movie for everyone as it appeals to people who have been Tom or Summer. In the end, we learn that some relationships are meant to be, but from those that aren’t, we still take something away that will benefit us for the next.