(500) Days of Summer. : This Is Not a Love Story

by - Thursday, May 26, 2016

I am not a big fan of rom-coms or chick flicks but I do appreciate a good story every now and then. Some of my favorites include Pretty Woman, The Mirror Has Two Faces, Bridget Jones' Diary,  Serendipity - just to name a few. When (500) Days of Summer came  out years ago, I never paid much attention to it as I thought, it will just be another same-old love story. Fast forward to 2016, I finally decided to watch it. 

(image via http://www.ricbit.com/)
The story is about Tom (Joseph Gordon-Lewitt),  a greeting card writer and a hopeless romantic whose idea of love and life is dominated by The Smiths and British pop culture, and Summer (Zooey Deschanel), the executive assistant of Tom's boss and a jaded sweetheart who doesn't believe in love and commitment.  When they met, it was love-at-first-sight for Tom and since they work together, he became more infatuated towards her everyday.  Office crushes- who has not fallen into this? Anyway...A few encounters here and there made the infatuation stronger for Tom (although, Summer seems indifferent) particularly when she mentioned that she loves The Smiths, too.
(image via http://retrieverweekly.umbc.edu/)

To cut the long story short, they started dating and for the first 200 days or so, everything was fine and dandy.  But as the days progressed, the honeymoon phase got a  bit too worn out too early and they eventually broke up (I'm saying it loosely since they were not exactly a couple).  Aww, right? I told you it's not your typical boy-meets-girl-they-fall-inlove-and-live-happily-ever-after-kinda story, didn't I? This is a love story alright but it's not one that will leave you ecstatic and wanting to be inlove anytime soon. (#sorrynotsorry)

Anyways... What's amazing about the movie is how the story was presented. Jean Luc Godard said that "Every story has a beginning, a middle and an end; though not necessarily in that order." and (500) Days of Summer utilizes this idea perfectly well. The story begins at the end then hops to the middle and then the beginning and back again marked by the days (Day 1,  Day 128, Day 400, etc).  

This narrative offers a new perspective on Tom and Summer's relationship and how it unfolded the way it did. It is the sort of introspection you make when trying to recall a job interview you failed at where you basically nitpick every single nuances or statements you've made that may have led to your fate (lol).  And I guess, this is what made the movie charming for me. And no, I don't find it charming because it's tragic. It's just realistic :D.

Going back, another thing I love about the movie is how relatable the characters are. The way Tom obsessed over Summer's "It was good" reply to his question of how her weekend went is something most of us have done with our friends. And how we can go from being an accepting lover to a disappointed one when reality doesn't meet our expectations is very relatable.
(image via http://dlb-network.com/)
(500) Days of Summer is not your typical love story. It will not make you feel good about relationships. It is too real, too raw and too damn painful to watch (especially if you've just recently broken up). However, these are the very same reasons why this movie is good. It unabashedly looks you in the eye and say - love, relationships and people are messy and that you will get hurt. But just like Tom, you move on and continue living. And yes, these pains are often catalysts that will lead us to where we should be. 

You May Also Like