The title makes me gag (it’s about a guy who dates a girl named Summer!), but wow, I really love this movie! Zooey Deschanel! Joseph Gordon-Levitt! Cuteness! And yeah, it can be a little precious at times, but I don’t care. It’s sweet.
Joseph G-L plays Tom, a would-be architect who works at a greeting card company. When Summer (Deschanel) is hired as his boss’ assistant, he falls head over heels. Finally, he decides, this is the girl he has been waiting for. Sadly, he is a romantic and she is a cynic: she doesn’t want anything serious, and claims to have never really been in love. Tom, nevertheless, is smitten.
The smart thing (aside from the adorable leads) is that the film is told non-chronologically, starting with the inexplicable break up and jumping around in Tom’s memory, trying to find what went wrong. But of course, a few scenes after the breakup, it’s obvious: he refused to take anything she said seriously and got in over his head. When you’re determined to make someone love you back, it’s easy to let that happen. I know! I’ve done it!
Watching Summer enjoying herself in the relationship is lovely. And Deschanel does a wonderful job of inflecting her pleasure with a little sadness, knowing that she will have to hurt him someday. But oh, it is intoxicating to have someone love you so blindly. And you can tell there’s a part of her that wishes she felt the same way too. I know! I’ve done it!
There are also some very cute hand-drawn animations, a Hall and Oates fantasy dance sequence, and really, really good music. Well, good for someone who is a recovering karaoke addict and lover of mopey ’80s British pop. But overall, it captures the trajectory of love perfectly from two points of view– Tom’s in a more obvious kind of way, but Summer’s too, once you start to notice the little details. OK, so maybe it’s a little cute for some people. But I was in exactly the right mood for it.
And oh! Here’s a little extra thingy that the filmmakers made for you. Swoon!