BOY MEETS GIRL. BOY FALLS IN LOVE. GIRL DOESN’T.
Greeting card writer Tom Hansen (Joseph Gordon-Levitt) falls in love with the new girl (Zooey Deschanel) at work… but she doesn’t believe in love or relationships. That simple plot summary should make anyone feel like moving on to more original fare, but this is in fact a very cleverly structured, heartfelt and ultimately touching romantic story. The romance is portrayed from beginning to end, but the filmmakers jump back and forth between certain days in the relationship, not only giving us the highlights but also effectively balancing light and darkness. Superfluous narration, but superior performances by the two leads.
2009-U.S. 95 min. Color. Produced by Mason Novick, Jessica Tuchinsky, Mark Waters, Steven J. Wolfe. Directed by Marc Webb. Screenplay: Scott Neustadter, Michael H. Weber. Cast: Joseph Gordon-Levitt (Tom Hansen), Zooey Deschanel (Summer Finn), Geoffrey Arend (McKenzie), Chloë Grace Moretz, Matthew Gray Gubler.
Last word: “My first reaction to [the script] was I felt that it was honest. I felt like I had been through something like this before and I walked out of it NOT feeling cynical, which is how you would expect to walk out of that experience, but how you would hope to walk of it, which is hopeful and engaged. That was my personal experience. And then the other part of it was that it was obviously a very playful script and there was the Hall and Oates stuff and some cartoon stuff and the narrator and the chronology was a big part of that but in my music videos I had played around with some of the same ideas so I felt like I was suited to do that.” (Webb, Collider)