500 Days of Summer Review: Lessons about Relationships
I watch a lot of romantic films but if there’s anything that totally changed my perspective about relationships, it was 500 days of Summer. The story of this film is about a hopeless romantic guy named Tom meets a girl named Summer whom he thinks is “the one”. However, Summer makes it clear from the beginning that she is not looking for anything serious and she does not believe in fate, destiny or soulmate stuff that Tom believes in. A budding romance seems to form between them and it became obvious they clearly like each other. Tom falls hard for her and when things does not end well, he is heartbroken.
Tom’s flawed perspective
At first, I thought that Summer was a bitch for leaving Tom and she even had the audacity to invite him to her own engagement party without telling him it was her engagement they are celebrating. I’ve sympathized with Tom the whole time. However, I realized that the story was mostly told in Tom’s point of view. Tom is not really in love with Summer as a person. He just loves and is obsessed with the idea of her. He thinks that she is the only person who could make his miserable life happy.
When he met her during the first time, he was immediately smitten to her especially when he discovered she was a Smiths’ fan. He thinks it was fate and she was the one. While Summer on the other hand, she likes Tom but she made it clear in the beginning that she doesn’t want a boyfriend and not looking for anything serious. She doesn’t believe in love or soulmates, the kind of stuff that Tom believes in. Despite of her revelation, he accepts this with hopes that she’ll change over time, that she’ll change for him. But she did not at least, not for him.
This leaves Tom heartbroken figuring out what went wrong.
Tom’s Expectation vs. Reality
Another thing that clearly pointed out Tom’s flawed perspective was the expectation vs. reality scene. After not catching up with Summer for quite some time, he saw her again on their way to a wedding. She then invited him to a party and Tom played had all of this expectations inside his head where she would kiss him and be all over him again. He was disappointed that it did not happen.
Only for him to finally realize that he did see Summer the way she truly is. He only saw her on what he wanted to see in her. This made him oblivious to the truth of what she truly is and this clouded his judgment. He was too caught up in the moment she was with him. Like most of us when we are in love. We give special meanings to little insignificant things such as loving the same taste of music, book or tv show. I swear that Tom’s 12 year old sister was the only one who had senses in the film. “She’s not your soul mate just because she also likes some silly stuff that you like”
Why it is Summer’s fault
Summer is just like all of us. She’s young and like most of the youth, they don’t know what exactly they want but she pretends that she does. Her brief backstory tells us about how her parents divorced and that made her not believe in love. That’s why she told Tom that she does not want anything serious. However, it is inexcusable for her to do what she did to Tom.
She knew that Tom wants something serious but she continued to have her fun anyway. Summer likes Tom but she knew she did not feel the same way about him the way he felt about her. But when she finally met someone whom she genuinely love, she was engaged and eventually became somebody’s wife.
Both of them were caught up in the romance to notice they are actually incompatible. There’s clearly a spark, deep attraction between them despite their different perspectives. One is a hopeless romantic and another cynical romantic, a combination that is doomed from the beginning anyway.
Summer eventually came to realize that there is more to relationships than she originally believes in anyway. That’s why she’s married. And Tom finally realizes that there is no destiny or fate. He’s the master of his own. After several days of being depressed over Summer, he bounced back, cleaned himself up to get back in the real world.
If Tom had learned anything, it was that you can’t ascribe great cosmic significance to a simple earthly event. Coincidence, that’s all anything ever is, nothing more than coincidence. Tom had finally learned there are no miracles. There’s no such thing as fate, nothing is meant to be. He knew, he was sure of it now. Tom was, he was pretty sure.
Love can be ambiguous, unfulfilling and sometimes we get all of this wrong ideas about love due to listening too much to romantic songs or watching unrealistic romantic films. When you relentlessly pursue someone, it doesn’t mean that they will love you back but even if they did, sometimes it doesn’t work out. There will always be obstacles and problems that will develop despite of your sincere efforts.
Even if you give everything in a relationship, sometimes it may not work out. Despite of your efforts, commitments and devotion, it can end. There is no guarantee that it can last long or even the other person will ever feel the same way about you. Sometimes things just go wrong and you don’t even know why but you just have to deal with it.
I love this movie because it isn’t your typical romantic cliche where girl and boy falls in love, breaks up then finds their way back together. It shows relationships from truly what it is. And even if a relationship did not work out at all, it doesn’t mean it’s the end. Like in the movie, after Summer always comes Autumn.