This Indie Romance Is the New ‘500 Days of Summer’

The upcoming indie romance Comet starring Justin Long and Emmy Rossum has just released its first trailer, and if the movie looks familiar, that’s probably because it appears as though it’s going to be almost exactly like the 2009 indie romance (500) Days of Summer. That movie went on to earn a cult following for its quirky way of looking at love plus the chemistry between the two hipster leads played by Joseph Gordon Levitt and Zooey Deschanel.

Comet is about the love story between Kimberly and Dell, two lovers fated to be together whether in this dimension or the next. The movie jumps around chronologically and between different universes to follow their story through space and time after the pair meet during a meteor shower. “The leaps between these moments are seamlessly woven together to create a sense that this love story transcends time and space and that Kimberly and Dell are destined to be together, if not in this universe, then maybe the next,” says distributor IFC, per Indiewire. The movie focuses on six of the relationship’s most difficult moments as the couple breaks up and makes up.

The story of Tom and Summer in (500) Days of Summer also played with perspective in a nonlinear fashion. While there’s no parallel universes or space travel, 500 Days plays with showing events as Tom wished they would have happened versus how they actually ended up happening. It also dives into the breakup of the relationship as deeply as the falling in love, something that more traditional romantic comedies have been reluctant to do with honesty.

Both films focus on the romance of two characters so quirky that they almost seem mismatched, but really their offbeat strangeness makes them all the more perfect for each other. Their physical similarity is also worth noting, with Long also playing a skinny white guy who wears skinny ties and Rossum also playing a brunette with bangs and hipster glasses and an affinity for cute vintage dresses.

Rossum is set to take Deschanel’s mantle as the current manic pixie dream girl of the moment with this movie. Both women currently lead successful television comedies — Deschanel on Fox’s New Girl and Rossum on Showtime’s Shameless. Deschanel began her career building indie credibility and elevating the manic pixie dream girl stock character to new heights with (500) Days of Summer. New Girl sees her continuing to play a similar character in a comedic sitcom, but it’s time for a new actress to become the obsession of a million hipster boys.

That’s not to say that this movie is going to be an unoriginal rip-off. The film premiered at the Los Angeles Film Festival and got good reviews that praised Long and Rossum’s performances in particular — again very similar to the critical reception of 500 Days. Indiewire gave it an A- and said, “Anchored by career-best performances from Long and Rossum, and a juicy script that bravely dives into the darkest parts of breaking up and making up, Comet is an original and inventive retelling of an age-old and universal truth, one expressed in Kimberly’s favorite Roxette song: it must have been love, but it’s over now.”

Comet hits theaters on January 2, 2015.

Follow Jacqueline on Twitter @Jacqui_WSCS

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