Film Review (500) Days of Summer (2009), Still Thinking Summer Was Wrong?


 Remember the movie (500) Days of Summer ? A romantic comedy about a man and a woman who enter into a romantic relationship without status, which ends in heartbreak? A film that seems to 'split' the audience into two groups: (many men) defending Tom, the male protagonist, or (women who) defending Summer, the female main character—which actually reflects sexism. the 'covert'. Moreover, this film is more centered on Tom's narration than Summer's narration. Precisely because of that, it looks like we need to dissect this film, trying to focus carefully on the female lead, Summer. Is it true that Summer is a woman who is “evil, emotionless, miserable human being or… she's a robot”like Tom said and was it really all Summer's fault?

Film Review (500) Days of Summer (2009)

Tom met Summer on January 8th and the film (500) Days of Summer (2009) also tells the story of Tom's 500 days since then about Summer, until he was able to fully 'move on' after a broken heart. This film is about Tom, a boy who falls in love with a girl, Summer, whom he meets in his office. Unfortunately, Tom is too infatuated and blindly believes in the love story about Destiny & the One— when the woman is just the opposite: she doesn't believe in love, nor is she willing to commit herself to commitment and status. The two of them are actually like heaven and earth in terms of romantic relationships. However, they ended up having a romantic relationship as well, though without status.

Told in a plot that goes back and forth in the timeline (say from the 31st day then jumps to the 282nd day then returns to the 34th day and jumps again to the 303rd day and so on), this film may seem confusing at first glance—but it's actually keep telling a tale. This film slowly wants to describe what really happened between Tom and Summer. Then it's like giving up the widest possible freedom for the audience to listen, judge, reflect on their own, because of course there are always many sides in seeing why a relationship can end.

As a romantic comedy, (500) Days of Summer (2009) raises issues that are actually clichés, but still interesting because they are clashed through two main characters who have different views. Does love really exist or is it just a fantasy? Do the so-called destiny and the one really exist or is it just a fairy tale packed with dramatic-melancholic media, films and songs? The funny thing is, the end of this film distorts the perception of each of the main characters: when Summer finally begins to believe in love and destiny and then marries another man (who is more convincing, who tends to be hesitant), Tom actually abandons his belief in love, destiny, the one. ,and accepts the easier conclusion of 'everything is coincidence and chance' after a broken heart—until he meets the next woman, who is unexpectedly named Autumn.

The film (500) Days of Summer (2015) was written, directed and produced by men. In fact, in fact, this film is written based on the true story of the author himself—by mentioning his ex-girlfriend's name in the film's prologue with sarcasm and without hesitation. But as a female viewer, I can see that the filmmaking team is still trying to give Summer, the female lead, a solid background and explanation for her reluctance to put clear status on her romantic relationship with Tom. Tom is not always defended, although the 'corrections' of Tom's mistakes tend to be described implicitly, through dialogues with friends and relatives. Summer's character is also described as quite empoweringfor women, although again the film's narrative is still centered on Tom as the main character in this film.

Closer to the Figure of Summer in (500) Days of Summer (2009)

Very complicated but very interesting, that is the first impression that the audience can get when they meet Summer in the film (500) Days of Summer (2009). Of course, Summer's character in this film cannot be separated from the male gaze— considering that this film is written-directed-and-produced by men. As a woman, Summer's physical appearance is one of the main factors—she is still portrayed as a (very) pretty girl , according to the beauty standards that are often imposed on women, resulting in Summer being the target of many men.

Even so, Summer is a woman who does not believe in love. “ There's no such thing as love. It's a fantasy, ” Summer said frankly to Tom and McKenzie at the beginning of their introduction at an informal office event. Since the divorce of her parents when she was a child, Summer seems difficult to establish a relationship with status and commitment. When Tom asked about falling in love and being in love, Summer replied lightly, “ Well, what does that word even mean? I've been in relationships and I don't think I've ever seen it. And most marriages end in divorce these days. Like my parents. ”

Summer's position in seeing relationships is also very free. She feels she doesn't want a boyfriend ( boyfriend ). Something that men like Tom and McKenzie consider 'very unnatural', for a woman. Maybe they don't believe that Summer as a woman doesn't want a boyfriend ( boyfriend ), they even only open up two possibilities: Summer is lying or Summer is a lesbian. There is no option for women to be alone, independent, and happy. In the film (500) Days of Summer (2009), Summer counters McKenzie's argument by replying casually but firmly, "You don't believe that a woman could enjoy being free and independent? No, I'm not a lesbian. I just don't feel comfortable being anyone's girlfriend. I don't actually feel comfortable being anyone's anything, you know? I like being on my own. Relationships are messy and people's feelings get hurt. Who needs it? We're young. "

Summer also never lied to Tom about this point of view. Before she went any further into a relationship with Tom, Summer said frankly that she wasn't looking for a serious relationship, didn't want to be tied down by status, and never forced Tom. Unfortunately, Tom has different views but tries to compromise on his own views. Deep down, Tom wanted clear status, recognition and consistency in their romantic relationship. When in their later relationship, Tom discussed and asked for this consistency, Summer also didn't try to be PHP (a false hope giver). Summer didn't shy away from Tom, she was clearly telling a fact that everyone had to digest as a romantic relationship risk,'no one can guarantee that we will wake up the next morning and feel different from each other.' Therefore, for those who insist on blaming Summer completely, are you sure you still want to blame Summer 100%?

Without wanting to sexist blame Tom and try to be objective, Tom is the one who many times compromises his own values ​​and views in the film (500) Days of Summer (2009). He is desperate to keep moving forward even though Summer has warned him about his views on romantic relationships without serious commitments. From the beginning of the film, he is described as emotionally unstable (even though it sounds like a joke , there is still a scene of Tom breaking a plate with a blank stare in the kitchen when his relationship with Summer is bad). Tom is also too baper (carrying) in his interpretation of Summer (see when he considers Summer 'making love on the weekends with the guy she met at the gym' when Summer just curtly replied, ' It was good.' Tom immediately gave up, wanted to withdraw, felt that Summer was not interested in him, making his friends shake their heads). Tom's views are also too patriarchal and old-fashioned for Summer (see how Tom comments about 'modern women who don't know how to dress' and how he automatically complains when Summer says he wants to get a butterfly tattoo on his ankle, like he has the right over Summer's body).

Tom is also one of the most lovable male characters (love slaves) in romantic-comedy films, he is afraid of losing Summer who he considers 'the one' . When he was advised by his friends to inquire about Summer's status, he replied, “ Well, 'Why rock the boat?' is what I'm thinking. I mean, things are going well. You start putting labels on it, that's like the kiss of death. That's like saying, 'I love you.'” Even though in the end, he asked her anyway. Tom is full of unreasonably high expectations in his business (such as when he feels he has new hopes with Summer's invitation to his apartment, who wants to celebrate her upcoming marriage.with other men). Supposedly, when he finds out that Summer has different views and values ​​in romantic relationships, Tom doesn't have to try and compromise (which ends up being mansplaining again, blaming women)—is that right?

It should also be underlined, Summer is not a playgirl even though she doesn't want to tie herself to a clear status in a romantic relationship. She was not in a relationship with another man when she was close to Tom. Tom also admitted this in his chat with Alison: Summer never cheated on him, never took advantage of him, Summer just said he didn't want a boyfriend . Alison (a woman Tom's friends had invited for a blind date with Tom) certainly couldn't help but think when she heard Tom's mansplaining who kept blaming Summer for their breakup. The narrative about Summer is definitely different from the narratives about playboy boyswhich often breaks women's hearts—it's unfair to compare them. On the other hand, it's interesting to rethink this bias as well: can only men be playboys and break women's hearts—when women must forever be submissive, devoted, loyal and okay, can't be playgirls ?

Although initially distrustful of love and difficult to commit, at the end of the film, Summer is finally married (and happy). Plot twists ! So, does Summer deserve to be blamed for this final decision? “ I just woke up one day and I knew. What I was never sure of with you , " replied Summer, when Tom asked why their relationship didn't work out. Was Summer wrong if she had never really been sure about her relationship with Tom? Shouldn't the relationship have to meet in two directions and should not only be viewed from one direction only? If Tom felt Summer was the one for him—but Summer doesn't: does it all have to do with Tom's wishes as a man? Shouldn't women choose too, what's best for themselves? Actually the conclusion is simple, as later told at the end of this film: Tom and Summer are not compatible with each other and that is enough to be the reason for their separation.

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