September 15, 2014
500 Days of Summer
It is thought that in the film “500 Days of Summer”, a 2009 comedy drama with a truly original romantic twist, post-modernism serves to enhance the overall message of the movie that is, don’t fall in love with love. The postmodern elements such as the distorted use of time, the fact that the film does not follow the tradition “Hollywood” love story, and finally the evident presence of role reversal throughout the story, all help to convey this idea. In the movie, the distorted use of time plays a major part and is able to better the viewer’s understanding of the story by the fact that it allows viewers to see both Tom and Summer’s relationships in stages, it helps capture the highs and lows along with the humor and desperation as the relationship moves along. The film also follows a much more unorthodox version of a love story than the traditional love stories in western culture, with a boy-meets-girl narrative, yet with a not-so-happy ending. Finally, role reversal is a significant component in “500 Days of Summer”, enhancing the overall message. In Tom’s case, viewers see that he is a hopeless romantic so desperate to find “the one” that he simply ignores all of the signs telling him Summer is not the one for him. This is a quite original twist to modern western culture as typically the women are the ones trying to find “the special someone”, rather than the men.
Firstly, “500 Days of Summer” is not a love story, instead, it is a story about love as remembered. Memories of relationships don’t always come to a person in chronological order but rather, they come in a mixed order. The postmodern element of the use of distorted time helps to better capture the Tom and Summer’s relationship in numerous ways, such as how the viewer can take a much more realistic view of the film than if the movie had been in order. It helps move the story along by separating the times into simple stages. If Tom and Summer are in a flirty stage, they are in the early days. If they are really close, they are in the middle days. If Tom is attempting to win Summer back, they are in the later days. And if Tom is trying to get over her, they are in the last few days. And finally if he moved on, it is close to the last 500 days. This component of time enhances the overall message of the film by giving viewers a simple yet fundamental way of understanding how Tom and Summer’s relationship progresses and the message behind it.
Secondly, in western culture, a boy-meet-girl movie typically ends with the boy getting the girl by the end of the movie, however, “500 Days of Summer” strays away from this concept and instead gives viewers a considerably more practical approach to the significance of love. It allows viewers to realize that in some cases, no matter how much time or effort a person may put into a relationship, some people are just not a match for you. In the film, Tom is so in love with the idea of Summer being “the one” that he completely ignores all of the things that she has been telling him throughout the entire movie. While romantic comedies tell us that Tom and Summer should be together by the end of the film, “500 Days of Summer” brilliantly takes a different approach and allows one to become aware to the fact Tom and Summer are complete opposites and while the idea of the two as a couple is a pleasant one, the reality is something completely different. This component of straying from the norm enhances the overall message of the film by progressively teaching viewers that one should not fall in love with love through Tom and Summer’s faulty relationship.
Finally, romantic comedy is a genre that is commonly labeled as being a women’s genre, however, this film tries to get across the overall message to not only women, but instead, women and men alike. Role reversal is evident in “500 Days of Summer” and is a key component to the story. The film uses role...
Cited: 500 Days of Summer. Dir. Marc Webb. Fox Searchlight Pictures, 2009. Film.
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