A story of boy meets girl. The 2009 film 500 Days of Summer has a bittersweet ending, but that hasn’t stopped it from earning a spot in the romantic comedy canon.
Directed by Marc Webb, the movie stars Joseph Gordon-Levitt as Tom, an architect who works as a writer of greeting cards. When a new employee named Summer (Zooey Deschanel) starts at the company, the pair hit it off after discovering they have similar tastes in music. Summer warns Tom that she’s not interested in a serious relationship, but he pursues her anyway.
Summer later breaks up with Tom, who spirals into a depression because he believed she was The One. Eventually, however, he picks up the pieces and interviews for a position at an architecture firm, where he meets a woman named Autumn (Minka Kelly). The film ends as the pair begin their first date, hinting that Tom is about to get a second chance at love.
While fans have joked over the years that they can’t forgive Summer for breaking up with Tom, Gordon-Levitt himself has pointed out that Deschanel’s character isn’t the only person at fault in the story. “Watch it again. It’s mostly Tom’s fault,” the Looper actor tweeted in 2018. “He’s projecting. He’s not listening. He’s selfish. Luckily he grows by the end.”
The 3rd Rock From the Sun alum has also said that Tom’s behavior isn’t exactly the sort of affection he thinks viewers should aspire to in their own lives. “The 500 Days of Summer attitude of, ‘He wants you so bad’ seems attractive to some women and men, especially younger ones,” Gordon-Levitt told Playboy in 2012. “But I would encourage anyone who has a crush on my character to watch it again and examine how selfish he is.”
When the movie made its debut on Hulu in May 2021, Deschanel reminded viewers not to be too judgmental of Summer. “500 Days of Summer is now available to watch on @hulu! So taking the time now to say once again, Summer isn’t the villain,” the New Girl alum wrote via Instagram at the time. “Happy watching!”
While the film stands alone, the She & Him songstress revealed in June 2019 that she and Gordon-Levitt have actually talked about making a second movie. “Joe and I always talked about doing a sequel,” she told PureWow at the time, adding that she wasn’t sure if it would “ever” happen. “We never quite figured it out because we thought it would be fun to do 500 Days of Tom from Summer’s point of view. The movie is so from Tom’s point of view. So, we thought it would be interesting to see her point of view.”
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