If your idea of a perfect relationship movie is a romantic comedy in which the perky ingenue -- think Kate Hudson, Katherine Heigl or, heaven help us, Jessica Alba -- has a hilariously contrived meet-cute with a square-jawed hunk -- think James Marsden, Eric Dane or, if you've behaved very poorly, Dane Cook -- and they bicker for 45 minutes, make out for five minutes, bicker for 15 minutes and then consummate their passions in a grand, rhapsodic climax, you may want to skip Fox Searchlight's "500 Days of Summer."
Actually, scratch that.
Directed by Marc Webb, "500 Days of Summer" may be the most optimistically romantic movie you'll see this year.
It may also be the most sardonically bittersweet and depressing love story making its way to your local cinema this summer
Joseph Gordon-Levitt and Zooey Deschanel star as Tom and Summer, an ill-fated couple whose love flows and ebbs in non-linear fashion through Scott Neustadter and Michael H. Weber's script, which makes a mockery of the conventions that Hollywood has foisted upon us in the genre.
This is Neustadter and Weber's second produced screenplay of 2009, but if you missed a little film called "The Pink Panther 2," you can pretend it's their first.
Although I have at least one killer story dating back to our shared undergrad experience involving Neustadter and famously mustachioed President Chester Arthur, that incident never came up when HitFix chatted with the screenwriters about the semi-autobiographical (for Neustadter) film, which first earned rave reviews at the Sundance Film Festival in January.
[Interview after the break...]