(500) Days of Summer parents guide

(500) Days of Summer Parent Guide

The film, narrated by Jean-Paul Vignon and told from the male perspective, lays out some insightful moments of truth as it ping-pongs back and forth in time.

Overall C

Tom Hansen (Joseph Gordon-Levitt) believes there is one right person out there for everyone. Summer Finn (Zooey Deschanel) on the other hand, doesn't believe in love at all. When the two meet and Tom falls in love, he tries to convince Summer she is the woman for him. Thus begins a 500-day season of "She loves me, she loves me not."

Release date July 17, 2009

Violence B
Sexual Content C
Profanity D
Substance Use C

Why is (500) Days of Summer rated PG-13? The MPAA rated (500) Days of Summer PG-13 for sexual material and language.

Run Time: 95 minutes

Official Movie Site

Parent Movie Review

Tom Hansen (Joseph Gordon-Levitt) is a rather idealistic young man who believes the "right one" is out there and when he finds her, it will be true love. Unfortunately in the meantime, his life isn’t all that ideal. After the aspiring architect failed to find a job in his field, he settled for an interim position writing sappy greeting card sentiments and hasn’t moved on.

But his life changes when his boss hires a new assistant. Summer Finn (Zooey Deschanel) may be average in many respects but she has a certain air about her that attracts men of all makes and Tom is no different. Meeting on the elevator, they begin an on again off again relationship. When it is on, Tom is walking in the clouds. When it’s off, he mopes around the house, whines to his buddies (Geoffrey Arend and Matthew Gray Gubler), breaks plates and seeks advice about love from his little sister Rachel (Chloe Moretz).

To her defense, Summer makes it clear from the beginning (with words at least) that she is only looking for a friend. Dealing with the childhood scars of parental divorce, she seems intent on keeping her emotional distance. However her actions say something else. Kissing Tom passionately in the copy room, stripping down to the buff in his apartment and engaging in casual sex sends out mixed messages to the love-struck man. Before long, the swing of the pendulum between "love me/leave me alone" becomes almost as painful for the audience as it is for Tom.

Unfortunately for family viewers, the film contains frequent profanities, crude scatological terms and sexual innuendo. As part of a date, Summer and Tom yell out an anatomical term for male anatomy at passersby (including children) in a busy city park and canoodle on a display bed at IKEA. As well, they and their friends regularly imbibe alcohol at work, parties and social gatherings, often to the point of drunkenness.

Still the film, narrated by Jean-Paul Vignon and told from the male perspective, lays out some insightful moments of truth as it ping-pongs back and forth in time. Though Summer is clearly in charge of this relationship, both individuals experience the uncertainties endured by almost every fledgling romance. Tom struggles with Summer’s inability to commit. She is plagued by doubts. Both suffer from the consequences of not expressing their real feelings while playing the role of friends with benefits. But neither is ready to make a clean break.

Yet given their different outlooks on finding real love (he’s a believer, she is not), the chance of stumbling on a happy ending feels increasingly remote for this Summer fling—even after 500 days.

Starring Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Zooey Deschanel. Running time: 95 minutes. Theatrical release July 17, 2009. Updated

(500) Days of Summer
Rating & Content Info

Why is (500) Days of Summer rated PG-13? (500) Days of Summer is rated PG-13 by the MPAA for sexual material and language.

A man’s romantic obsession with a woman he meets at work leads to frequent sexual rendezvouses, however we do not see any detailed sexual activity. Discussions with friends are somewhat more verbally explicit. Language consists of one sexual expletive, several scatological and mild profanities along with a crude term for female anatomy. A male anatomical term is repeatedly shouted out a in a park where children are present. Sexual orientation issues are discussed, and a woman lists her past hetero and homosexual relationships. Violence is limited to two men exchanging a single punch each in a bar, and a man slapping another man within a comedic context. Alcohol use is frequently portrayed in social settings. In several scenes characters drink heavily prior to and after engaging in stressful situations.

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More parents' guide for (500) Days of Summer after the break...

(500) Days of Summer Parents' Guide

Do you think the male protagonist in this film accurately depicts how other men may feel? How does this movie “turn the tables” on the male/female relationships often portrayed in movies? In other films where men are heartbroken, how do they usually react?

Who do you empathize with—Tom or Summer? How may your own experiences and/or gender alter your perceptions of this movie? Do you enjoy films with ambiguous messages that leave individual audiences members with differing points of view?

What techniques does the film employ to contrast the characters’ expectations with reality? In what ways does this idea reflect the theme of the script? Why can the gap between expectations and reality be so difficult to bridge?

Home Video

The most recent home video release of (500) Days of Summer movie is December 22, 2009. Here are some details…

Release Date: 22 December 2009

(500) Days of Summer on Blu-ray comes with the following bonus materials:

- Feature commentary with Director Marc Webb, Writer Michael Weber, Co-Writer Scott Neustadter and Actor Joseph Gordon-Levitt

- Lost Days of Summer (deleted and extended scenes with optional commentary).

- Featurettes: Not A Love Story (the making of (500) Days of Summer), Summer At Sundance

- Audition Tapes (with optional commentary by Director Marc Webb): Geoffrey Arend (“McKenzie”) and Matthew Gray Gubler (“Paul”).

- Summer Storyboards.

- Bank Dance (directed by Marc Webb).

- Mean’s Cinemash: Sid and Nancy/(500) Days of Summer.

- Music Video: Sweet Disposition by Temper Trap.

- Six Conversations With Zooey and Joseph.

- Filmmaking Specials.

- Digital Copy of (500) Days of Summer.

(500) Days of Summer on DVD offers the following extras:

- Feature commentary with Director Marc Webb, Writer Michael Weber, Co-Writer Scott Neustadter and Actor Joseph Gordon-Levitt

- Lost Days of Summer (deleted and extended scenes with optional commentary).

Related home video titles:

Disillusioned by love, a cynical divorce lawyer has his life turned end-over-end when he meets a fairytale princess in Enchanted. Love and romance with the most unlikely person also happens when a chauffeur’s daughter falls for the boss’s son in Sabrina.