Expectations Over Reality [500 DAYS OF SUMMER Film Review]

500 days of Summer was one of my favourite films in high school, I’ve watched it a million times since having heard of it until, of course, I fell in love with another movie and another great plot but I never thought that I’d get the movie’s message wrong, having loved it for so long.

I always thought that the movie was about a boy whose heart was broken by a girl and how love can make you feel so much shit at once. On one part, it could be what the movie is about but on the other hand, I realized now after watching it a few years later, that I’ve had it all wrong.

It wasn’t about Tom Hansen who’s been a hopeless romantic since he was a kid, or Summer Finn, the seemingly manic pixie dream girl. I thought, ultimately, it’s about men and the mendacious belief that women exists solely to give them purpose or show them a new sense of living.

A dream girl is called as such for a reason and it’s because it is a dream that doesn’t exist. It wouldn’t take long after you start the movie to realize that Tom, since the beginning, was only falling in love with the idea of Summer Finn and not falling for her in actuality.

Throughout the hour and twenty-something minutes that I’ve watched the film, I didn’t learn anything about Summer aside from the basic facts. Other than that, I knew only about the things he found remarkable, how she liked the same music he does or her favourite member of The Beatles and it was his desire to cling onto the idea he had of her rather getting to know who she actually was that made me roll my eyes to no end.

To add to that, I thought Rachel, played by the young Chloe Moretz, had more wisdom than any of the characters in the film and had no problem calling Tom out for all his bullshit. She also told him much of what I wanted to say, like: “Just ‘cause some cute girl likes some bizzaro crap you do, that doesn’t make her your soul mate.”

Before I end my review, I’d like to point out how clever Summer’s name was especially during the end. I think, aside from it being a really cute name I’d use if I ever had a kid, it also represented the fact that Tom, although a good guy for all intents and purposes, was stuck on a loop and that summer may end but autumn will always come next and then winter, then spring and he can even meet girls with the same names but fundamentally, he’ll never learn that “there’s no such thing as fate” or that “nothing is meant to be” because he did meet Autumn and, well, I think we all know what may come next.


[written by: Cathrene Joseph]

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