500 Days, director Marc Webb’s first feature film, is unpredictable, cliché-free, as far from the habitual rom-com as possible, with the added perks of intelligent nods to cinema history and to pop culture. It offers unexpected pleasures that make this gem of a movie, highly acclaimed at Sundance and by critics, very different from the cute, tongue-in-cheek indies of “Little Miss Sunshine” mold.
Watch Summer when Tom makes her discover the delights of downtown LA architecture (who knew?) or see Tom in a park after his first night with Summer as he first struts and then breaks into such a contagiously happy dance that everyone around him joins him. Then, along with his two best friends (Matthew Gray Gubler and Geoffrey Arend, both right on pitch) commiserate with him when he falls into utter dejection as Summer moves on. No happy end for this one, not now. But a new beginning later, perhaps?