The Sound of Cinema: 500 Days of Summer


“This is a story of boy meets girl, but you should know upfront, this is not a love story.” These are some of the opening words to one of my favourite films, ever, that conveniently hosts in my opinion what is an excellent and varied soundtrack.

The film is no typical rom com, as anyone who has seen it will testify. Suitably then, the music is not all upbeat and sickly. Instead, the soundtrack hosts numerous tracks by indie bands and artists to reflect the mix of melancholy and ecstasy that Tom (Joseph Gordon-Levitt), the film’s main protagonist, has to endure through his 500 day journey. Of course, it’s soundtrack is helped by the fact that both Tom and Summer (Zooey Deschanel) are self proclaimed music aficionados. Both are majorly into The Smiths, and so both ‘There Is a Light That Never Goes Out’ and ‘Please, Please, Please Let Me Get What I Want’ get outings here, with the latter also sung by Deschanel’s band She & Him on the official soundtrack. Anyone man (or indeed woman) who is yet to hear the sweet tones of Zooey Deschanel will surely swoon upon hearing this.

‘Sweet Disposition’ by The Temper Trap is also briefly included in the film and is an excellent choice, albeit slightly underused. There is the excellent ‘Vagabond’ by Wolfmother and also ‘She’s Got You High’ by Mumm-ra. So there are many modern indie songs found within the film, but there is also a golden oldie in the form of a Simon & Garfunkel track (‘Bookends’). One of the best moments in the film also comes in the form of a musical number, following Tom the day after sleeping with Summer for the first time. Anyone who has ever been in love will give a wry smile and a nod to the swagger and sheer happiness expressed by Tom, who dances along to the ever happy ‘You Make My Dreams’ by Hall & Oates. This is excellently produced and the song and dance routine complement each other perfectly.

“Most days of the year are unremarkable. They begin, and they end, with no lasting memories made in between.” These wise words come courtesy of the excellent narration of 500 Days of Summer. However, watching this film and experiencing its superbly curated soundtrack will make a lasting memory in anyone who watches. Make your day remarkable and listen to it here


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