From the very start, 500 Days of Summer asserts that it is going to be different from other movies. It has a quirky, ironic voice-over by an omniscient narrator, an unuaual dedication, a decidedly unorthodox timeline. And, it states, it is not a love story.
Jumping around from the ending to the middle to the beginning and back again, the film tells the story of somewhat starcrossed couple Tom (Joseph Gordon-Levitt) and Summer (Zooey Deschanel). Breaking the traditional gender roles (as promised), Tom is a born romantic, looking for his perfect match, and taking the whole search very seriously, while Summer is somewhat afraid of commitment, obsessed with her own independence.
500 Days of Summer is definitely not a "chick flick", but I found myself warmly relating to Tom's character, both his sensibilities and his dilemmas. There's a wonderful chemistry between Gordon-Levitt and Deschanel, who both do the film an amazing service as tremendous, recognizable-but-indie actors. Their endearing take on two very realistic characters combines with an offbeat sensibility that pervades the whole movie (there's a post-coital musical number, for example) to create a finished product that's captivating, hilarious, and, above all, totally orginal.