(500) Days of Summer, a 2009 pic, is not always clever—it can be gimmicky, as in its European art film references—but it certainly avoids being dull and utterly ordinary. It tells of a romantic affair between two young adults, Tom (Joseph Gordon-Levitt) and Summer (Zooey Deschanel), over a 500-day period. And as critic Deborah Ross points out, “For him, it’s love. For her, it’s a lark.” Happy days become few. Maybe Tom’s next girlfriend (Minka Kelly?) will take it seriously.

Although there is some crassness in the screenplay, charm arises as well. Tom suffers, but Gordon-Levitt is no Ingmar Bergman-guided actor, that’s for sure. He is passable, and handsome. Deschanel is passable and lovely. Scenarists Scott Neustadter and Michael Weber do a smooth and interesting job of holding chronological time at bay. Again, not dull. (500) Days of Summer has its virtues.