500 Days of Summer

Director: Marc Webb
Screenwriters: Scott Neustadter

Institute History


The freshness of Marc Webb’s love-me/love-me-not story is epitomized by its perfectly framed tag lines…Boy meets Girl—Boy falls in love—Girl doesn’t. What else can you say about a postmodern love story? Not only is this delightfully surprising dissection of a romance structured so that it catches us continually off guard, but the classic tale of love unrequited is turned as topsy-turvy as a Shakespearian farce.

Directed with verve, pace, and confidence by first-time filmmaker Webb and replete with Los Angeles settings that are distinctive and interesting, 500 Days of Summer never descends into ordinary romance. The typical premise of the love story—that we want what we can’t have—is fueled by a role reversal (it’s the woman who doesn’t want to commit) and energized by dance numbers, split screens, and two dynamic performances from Joseph Gordon-Levitt and Zooey Deschanel.

That Tom, a hapless greeting-card copywriter, and the alluring Summer, his temporary office mate, fluctuate between the highs and lows of infatuation, dating, sex, and separation is the conventional aspect of an unconventional tale of self-discovery and relationships. For a new generation of storytellers, 500 Days of Summer is destined to be a template for the future of romantic inspiration.

— Geoffrey Gilmore

Screening Details

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