*Spoilers if you haven’t seen the movie*
The first time I watched (500) Days of Summer, it was an accident. I was home sick from school, and I was desperately trying to find something to watch on TV. I browsed the movie channels and came across (500) Days of Summer. I read the description and noticed Joseph Gordon Levitt and Zooey Deschanel starred in it. That was enough to pull me in.
What I expected was a typical RomCom: boy meets girl (or vice versa), they fall in love, there’s some conflict, and they end up together at the end. At the beginning of the movie, it seemed that it was headed in that direction. Although Zooey’s character, Summer, stated she was not looking for love or a relationship, it was easy to believe that she would get swept off her feet by Tom (JGL) and end up falling in love anyway. Wrong. She stuck to what she said. The whole time. She did not change her plans for a man who was in a different position than her.
The best part of this movie for me, besides the witty/ amazing writing, is the gender reversal. Tom is a man desperately looking for love. He gets all giddy around Summer and basically falls in love at first sight. He obsesses over her. He gets extremely emotional, either happy or sad throughout many parts of the film. He overreacts. He imagines and desires a reality that is quite different than what he has. Tom= a classic over-obsessive female character looking for love.
Summer does not obsess over Tom. She tells him what she wants and what she is looking for, he agrees, and she expects him to understand. She knows what she wants and sticks to it. Summer= a typical man who is not ready for a relationship/ does not get emotionally attached.
This movie is so refreshing. It shows that women are not always the super emotionally attached ones, and shows that men are not always just looking for fun and not a commitment. It shows that not everything ends with a happy ending. It shows that even though the audience is rooting for Summer and Tom (because let’s admit it, they’re so cute and perfect), this seemingly perfect couple does not have to end up together. The girl does not have to fall in love with the boy in the end, even though he has been really good to her. She is independent and makes her own decisions.
I love that (500) Days of Summer does not offer a happy ending (in a way that we expect it- it still has a happy ending) and destroys gender roles. It offers a realistic view of relationships. Not everyone has a happy ending, and thats okay, because it is life.