Owning up to Summer

Monday, January 11, 2010

Let's talk (500) Days of Summer, shall we?  Have we all seen it?  Yes?  If not, please click here: (500) Days of Summer according to Wikipedia.  Some may say this needs a spoiler, but it's part of the marketing that we know the couple in it (Tom - the illustrious and oh-so-talented Joseph Gordon-Levitt, and Summer - the ever-lovely Zooey Deschanel) do not end up together.  Its tagline reads This is not a love story; this is a story about love.

If that doesn't say a ton, I don't know what does.

Now, I love this movie.  I love it so, so much.  The day I saw it, I immediately went home and downloaded it and watched it the next day again.  As I type this, it's playing on the TV in my room (how better to get in the mood?).  It's funny and heartbreaking and hits so close to home to probably everyone who has viewed it.  Or even heard about it, for that matter.  I love it's style, I love the nonlinear format, I especially love the segment of expectation/reality.

I think we can all relate to Tom.  Poor, so-in-love, heartbroken Tom.  Who meets, falls in love with, remains in love with, fights for, and eventually moves past the girl.  We all know what it's like to meet that one person who immediately captures our heart (or even gradually build a place in your heart).  We all know the excited fear of the initial crush, that scared hope of a possible relationship.  The elation of knowing when someone loves you.  That "do I deserve this?" feeling when all is right in the world.  We all know the feeling of frantic terror when we can feel something isn't quite right.  The feeling of grasping thin air when it's slipping away.  The constriction of your heart when you know what's coming.  The broken heart, the heavy loss, the hopelessness of your days when it's all gone.  Even that little blip of anger when blame enters for a few days--and the emptiness that follows when the blame comes back unto yourself.

We all know it.  Everyone has loved someone more than it was returned (if at all).  In all variations of love, in all extents of loving someone.

But here's the thing.  Yeah, I'm a Tom.  But...I'm also a Summer.

I know she's kind of the "evil" one here, and most of the people I know keep calling her a callous bitch.  I get that she broke his heart, and it was selfishly cruel to dance with him at the wedding and then invite him over to her dinner party without telling him she was engaged.  She toyed with his emotions, had her fun, and blocked him out.

But I'll own up to it.  I'm a Summer, too.  Yeah, I have a broken heart, but I'd be lying if I said I hadn't mishandled some boy's heart, too.  It's not that I purposely play with the boy's emotions, or that I'm wrapping him around my little finger and I use him and toss him carelessly aside.  It's never like that.  But what I mean is that...I can't help but follow my gut.  If something feels right, I am guaranteed to do it.

Even if it hurts someone.

I just can't help it.  An instinct is worth so much more to me than reason.  All my life, I've followed what felt right in my gut, and it has yet to lead me astray.  Yes, it has led me to some ridiculous, heart breaking times, but it also led me out.  And that is the part that matters to me.  So yeah, i'm a bit of a Summer.  When she says, "I just woke up one day, and I knew," I knew I had forgiven her for breaking Tom's heart.

Ok, yes, she didn't have to dance with him at the wedding.  And yes, she should probably have mentioned her engagement before inviting him to the garden party on the rooftop.  She's human, ok?

We all are.


Stephen K January 11, 2010 at 6:55 AM  

We're human, but I would argue that part of the responsibility that comes along with that privilege (as per being a, say, slug) is the ability to think about our reactions and control them, rather than just succumbing to our base instincts. Having said that, there's still very little I would not do to get into Zooey Deschanel's pants.

Sarah January 11, 2010 at 8:52 AM  

Summer isn't evil because she lies to Tom at the wedding and breaks his heart. She is evil because, when Tom asks her for an explanation about the wedding, she says, "Because I wanted to" in the MOST OBNOXIOUS WAY humanly possibly. She doesn't sound sorry, sympathetic or considerate at all. She just sounds like a selfish jerk. I don't think this was intentional in the script. I think it was a failure that can be attributed to Marc Webb's momentarily poor directing and Zooey Deschanel's momentarily poor acting. they should have tried a few more takes.

Tell me, do any relationships exist where people like each other equally? at all? ever? I mean, really. I no longer believe that any two people in any sort of relationship (romanticship or friendship) like each other the same. One person always like the other person less. that's horrible. I don't want to live in a world like that.

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I'm fairly obsessed with penguins, Peanuts (the comic), and the TV show Friends. Parentheses may or may not be (over)used in this blog, and books will pretty much be the only thing I ever talk about because they are my One True Love.


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