This world is full of love stories which are beautiful, heartwarming, brave and complicated and sometimes all at once. Today, we’re exploring one such story, a story that is about love but not a love story. The movie in the spotlight today is none other than Joseph Gordon-Levitt and Zooey Deschanel starrer, 500 Days Of Summer.
The movie released on 17th July, 2009 and marks its 10 year anniversary today. It has been a long time since the movie was written and released and over the years, it has been viewed and critiqued for various flaws and some well-made points. Throughout the years, a huge part of the focus has remained on Joseph’s character, Tom. But today, we’re taking a closer look at Summer, played by Zooey.
The movie showcases Tom’s journey through the 500 days that he spent meeting, falling in love with and getting close to and getting over Summer. In that very order. The film captured and morphed all its cinematic elements basis Tom’s feelings at specific points throughout the story. And with it, we also get the chance to get to know Summer, even though in nothing more than bits and pieces. She is smart, funny, has unwavering beliefs and like any real woman, is flawed as well. She takes leaps, makes mistakes and sometimes a few at once. But the one thing that Summer never does is force herself to feel things. Which is why, even though she has a great thing going on with Tom, she walks away leaving behind Tom and his broken heart as collateral damage.
We get to see the roller-coaster of emotions that Tom goes through after their separation and before he runs into her and at a wedding. They meet, talk and dance as though nothing ever changed between them but things had. The next day as Tom realizes, she is engaged to someone, he loses hope once again. Every little shred of hope that had made its way to his heart the previous night. But that’s not how their story ends. They meet again, at Tom’s favourite spot in the city and Summer isn’t someone’s fiance anymore, she’ married. It’s what transpires between them in that meeting that makes Summer all the more relatable. An evidently upset Tom asks her, “You don’t want to be named as anybody’s girlfriend, and now you’re someone’s wife?” To which Summer says, “It surprised me too… I just woke up one day and I just knew”. “Knew what?”, Tom enquires. “What I was never sure of with you”, comes her reply.
Tom beats himself up for being wrong about love, destiny, and soulmates, calling it all bull$*it. Summer can only manage to look at him and smile as she tells him how she met her husband. She continues, “I kept thinking Tom was right. I did. It just wasn’t me you were right about”. And that line holds so much more relevance in today’s relationships, online dating and right-swiping world. Doesn’t it? We’re trying to find connections and bonds but pass on something great thinking about the potential heartbreak it comes with. We also stay in unhappy, convenient relationships because we fear ending up alone.
But love, if you believe in it, will walk into a Deli while you’re reading a book or take the same Metro as you. Or it might just be in the form of your dream job making its way to you. If there’s anything that 500 Days of Summer teaches us, it’s that love can’t be forced and it’s okay to walk away from anything that feels less than incredible.
We wish we got to know a little more about Summer and her journey. But we know enough to learn that it’s okay to be flawed, it’s okay to put yourself first and make mistakes.
And dear reader, trust me, you will be okay. The heartache that seems impossible to get over will retract like every wave that crashes into the shore. Go after what makes you happy and you will truly be more than just ‘okay’.