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500 Days of Summer Soundtrack

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Posted by teibs On July - 27 - 2009

500daysofs@ZackTeibloom We start with a warning. The narrator tells us that even though this is a story of boy meets girl, it isn’t a love story.*A film this masterful feels complete without the narration, but we’re given the info at the opening of the movie and soundtrack so we don’t get our hopes up for a happy ending for Tom and Summer.

From there, both film and soundtrack dive into Regina Spektor’s “Us,” as home movies of Tom and Summer play simultaneously over the opening credits. If you want a two word description of the soundtrack, listen to 1:17 to 1:29 of “Us.”I’m doing you a disservice by going through this soundtrack in order, though. The movie reveals Tom and Summer’s relationship in a series of out-of-order vignettes as Tom remembers them.

Track 12: There’s the not so subtle nod of playing Simon and Garfunkel’s “Bookends” as our couple watches “The Graduate,” which is littered with the famous duo’s songs.

Track 6: Speaking of bookends, “There Goes the Fear” gets the double dip to show two peaks of Tom’s infatuation with Summer.

Track 3: The Smiths are to “500 Days of Summer” what The Shins are to “Garden State.” Summer wins Tom’s affection by singing along to “There is a Light that Never Goes Out” as he listens to it on headphones in the elevator.

Track 15: Summer further wins Tom over by singing Meagan Smith’s** “Here Comes Your Man” at karaoke before his friend drunkenly tells her Tom likes her. At this point, every guy in the theater loved Summer.

Track 5: Once Tom knows Summer’s into The Smiths, he tries to bait her into another conversation by blaring their “Please, Please, Please Let Me Get What I Want” from his computer speakers as she walks by. She walks by without commenting. He should have taken a hint then.

Track 10: Feist’s “Mushaboom” sets the mood for a wedding that brings our couple back together for one fleeting moment. One of those songs that makes you realize you like Feist more than you thought you did.

Track 7: I could tell Hall & Oats’ “You Make My Dreams” was going to be a montage before I even saw the movie. I couldn’t have predicted the “I just had sex” routine that went with it. Well played.

The movie doesn’t attempt to show all 500 Days of Summer, so I’m not going to bore you with every song on the soundtrack. I translated Carla Bruni’sQuelqu’un m’a dit” in an earlier draft. It wasn’t interesting. Trust me.

I used to make fun of my sister for listening to the Rent soundtrack over and over before even seeing the play, but after Fader sent me the soundtrack, I found myself playing it on repeat, feeling like I’d already seen the movie. I know you probably think I ruined the movie for you by telling you how the songs intertwine with the plot, but I couldn’t ruin this movie for you if I tried.

Put it up there with “Juno” and “Garden State” as the decade’s best soundtracks that tie together the movie not just by having great songs, but by making them the fabric that holds the story together. Even though Tom constantly misreads the meanings in songs and over thinks the power of a mix tape,*** it’s his passion for the music that helps move the story along and makes him a dreamer. I wish there were 500 more days of Summer.

*I totally disagree with the assessment that it isn’t a love story just because they don’t end up together. Is Romeo and Juliet not a love story?

**I always thought this was a Pixies original.

*** Never underestimate the power of a mixtape. The girl just has to listen to it.

2 Responses

  1. Jen B Said,

    Yes, this will be my next cd purchase!

    Posted on July 27th, 2009 at 5:53 am

  2. Mikela Said,

    Here comes your man is a Pixies original!

    Posted on July 27th, 2009 at 11:05 am

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