500 Days of Summer Movie Analysis
Probably everyone once thought that each person in this world has their own ideal of love, and meeting their other half is only a matter of time. People live their everyday life, sleep, eat, learn, communicate and wait for something unusual in their lives. People need someone who will radically change their lives with his/her presence. It even seems that when such a person appears in this world, everything will change for the better at once, and a sense of infinite joy and euphoria will come. However, the days go by, and still nobody special appears. The time cannot wait, it passes, and so does the life.
The story of the film 500 Days of Summer revolves around a young man, Tom Hanson, who works for the agency that produces greeting cards. From his early childhood, Tom was sure that everything in his life was preordained; he believed in fate, in that sooner or later he would gain happiness. This strange feeling arose in the main character after Summer Fin, his new colleague, came into his life. The young man immediately realized that she was the one that he had waited for so long. The fact that Tom’s new colleague liked the same things as he did made him 100% confident of his choice. Whatever people say, one cannot deny the fact that if a girl likes the same things a man likes, then he has a subconscious attraction to her. So, Tom was sure that Summer was his true love.
The film starts with a young man falling in love with Summer Fin. Falling in love with her, Tom soon began dating her. However, she did not want a serious relationship as she deserved more frivolous relations than Tom. The first period of 500 days was the happiest for Tom; he sometimes could not even believe his luck. Summer had led him to believe that his interest was mutual, so they spent together most of their free time. Tom was on cloud nine, and it seemed that this love will have no ending. Unfortunately, the days went by, and Tom began to notice that Summer gradually grew cold to him, and she did not like his recent jokes. Love passed. At one point, everything collapsed, and the fate that the protagonist believed in so firmly left him alone. Hence, the eternal pessimism, cheap whiskey and a gap between the reality and fantasy came. Always sleepy Tom walked an untypical path of love; in the end, he became a realist.
It should be said that according to Knapp’s stage of romantic relationship development, Tom and Summer reached the stage called circumscribing. That means that two people set their own boundaries and delimited differences. They had their individual space, possessions, holidays, meetings with friends and so on. It is clear because Summer did not tell Tom about her life plans, and he did not know what she was going to do, where she was going to spend her free time and what was in her mind.
The narrative of the film is not parallel to the plot development: the use of day counter that runs forward and then back helps to show the audience happiness of Tom during their relationship with Summer, and then his depression after the break. This film demonstrates well that although Tom has much to do with Summer, they do not fit each other since they have a different view of the world. Cold Summer does not believe in love, and she does not want to feel a sense of Tom’s hopelessness. Trying to stay loose, she does not attach labels to their relationship, but offers the heart-stopping love.
Tom is a nice young man who believes in true love. He wants a family and children. Summer is an independent and free girl full of life, and she wants to live it cheerfully and happily. Speaking about relations between the main characters in this film, it should be noted that Tom was expecting too much from this girl. She initially said that she did not need labels and serious relationship, and she did not want to be anyone’s girlfriend. He seemed to agree on such conditions, but still, he was unhappy and frustrated when he did not get from Summer what the hoped. 500 days of their relationship show that the path to happiness is unpredictable and incredibly funny. When Summer already found her way and got married, he realized that he had made a great mistake.
They met at the job, and the development of their relations was predictable because anywhere else they would not have to reach this limit in the relationship. They were initially too different, and it would be foolish to hope that they would get married at the end of the film.
I chose to characterize these two heroes because their love union seemed unusual and different from others’ to me. Tom and Summer looked as a happy couple, but, in fact, everything was not so well as one of them set their own rules in the relationship, and the other did not. That was the reason for their interpersonal conflict. Tom and Summer spent much time together, went shopping, walked, had fun together, and their dissimilarity to each other amplified their relationship. Initially, they formed a couple because Tom fell in love with Summer, and she allowed him to love her, thus deceiving him. However, in the end, the difference in characters and life views caused misunderstanding and brake.
Speaking about the role of self-disclosure in the main characters’ relationship, it should be said that Summer was not open enough, although Tom showed the best qualities of a man in these relations. He felt that Summer was his other half, so he was not afraid that she would laugh at his feelings and desire to have serious relations. When they had conflicts, Tom tried to talk about them, find a solution, and make sure that in the end the conflict would be settled, and they would continue to build love relationship as before. On the contrary, Summer treated him frivolously. She was not serious towards him, and her behavior made it clear that even if the conflict led to a brake, she would not take it to her heart because she did not want a serious relationship. If a person does not even want to try to resolve the issues in the interpersonal relations and find compromises, that means he/she does not need the relations at all. Nevertheless, Tom believed in love; he thought that she was the one, and that is why he allowed her to spoil his life by her strange behavior. It could be said that in their relations, Summer was a leader and Tom was a blind follower ready to do whatever she wanted him to do.
Speaking about their communication, it should be noted that Summer preferred not to tell Tom all the information about her present life, and about her inner thoughts and emotions. One day she laughed at his jokes; another day she stayed cold and remote from him. He did not even know that Summer met another man, dated him and finally agreed to become his wife, even though Tom was quite close to her and he could feel that her behavior meant something more serious than just a bad mood. Sure, she let him know about some details of her previous relations with other men and even a woman, but sometimes she did not answer his questions at all. Unlike Summer, Tom was always ready to be open to her, and to share all his life with her, both past and future. His family taught him to respect a woman he loved, so he wanted to build his own family and raise children. Maybe, Tom was quite predictable in many cases as he did not lead such a bright life as Summer did before and during their relations, but anyway, he was a good man.
One could notice that Tom had friends; he liked to spend time with them and to tell them the details of their relations with Summer. It would be wrong to say that their role and influence on him was immense, so after the break with Summer, he preferred to suffer alone to finding support in the communication with friends, although, in the end, that break and long time of navel-gazing helped him to understand his true destination and to become an architect. On the other hand, Summer’s life was a bit mysterious, and the viewers will not see many friends in her life. She might have many of them, but anyway, all her life was devoted to amusement. One cannot say that her friends had real influence on her decisions because she changed her interests each time as she felt her life was boring. When she met Tom, she was not ready to make a family, but Tom not only wanted, but also deserved to have it with her. This difference in their life view constantly reminded the heroes that they were just spending some time together, searching for pleasure and making life of each other full of new emotions. When one starts to see the movie, he/she can predict that they will not be together at the end of the film. It can be seen in the cold eyes of Summer.
During this story about love, Tom showed positive emotions, cheerfulness, open mind, generosity and kindness to Summer. The girl had many positive emotions too, but comparing to Tom, those emotions were connected with her good mood and view of life; they were not shown to Tom. The characters did not use language that creates a defensive communication climate; it was rather supportive language behavior. The relations were greatly influenced by Summer’s character and behavior since she decided whether the relations would be positive or negative. She was a leader in their couple, but not strong enough to make Tom understand what kind of relationship they had.
In the film, there is a phrase that even if somebody likes the same things as another person does, it does not mean that they are made for each other, and that they will be happy together. Ironically, these are the words of Tom’s younger sister. In fact, they are true because even love of Summer and Tom for one pop band does not make them happy. One cannot say that these characters have a noticeable difference in cultures because they both belong to the same social circle, nationality and so on. They simply have radically different views on interpersonal relationships. Tom idealizes Summer without understanding the consequences of such an action. She is just an ordinary girl, but in his eyes, she becomes an angel. That idealization leads to a brake because after the end of the period of love, the understanding of a true man comes, and this sobriety shows the true image of the interpersonal relations. Therefore, if one person loves another one more than they love this person, he/she cannot do anything for them, and to concentrate all the energy and thoughts on it since it will create expectations that the second person is not able to meet.
In conclusion, it should be said that one of the main problems of relationships that may ruin them is poor communication between the two. When two people feel that they can build relationships, they should be open to each other and not only talk, but also listen to desires and emotions of other partner in order to avoid misunderstanding. In the movie 500 Days of Summer, if Tom heard Summer, he would not suffer so much when his dreams broke because he understood the true intension of Summer. In the end, they broke because inability to hear the partner always leads to disillusion.