Does the film still hold up?
500 Days of Summer stars Zooey Deschanel and Joseph Gordon-Levitt reunited to discuss the film’s legacy and whether it still holds up, ten years after its initial release.
The film tells the story of Summer (Deschanel) – a woman who doesn’t believe in true love. Of course, it’s not long until a young man called Tom (Gordon-Levitt) falls for her.
When it was originally released in 2009, many felt Deschanel’s character was the villain, after she breaks up with Tom. However, ten years later, Deschanel is keen to stress that this isn’t the case at all.
“This is a movie with zero dramatic irony. Zero. It is 100 percent from Tom’s point of view, which we’ve talked about before, but it’s one thing people very much misunderstand about the movie,” she told Entertainment Weekly. “They think Summer’s a villain.”
Gordon-Levitt said the misunderstanding also stems from the narrator of the movie. “A lot of it has to do with this voiceover, and I think that’s sort of part of the point, that the voiceover sounds authoritative, so you believe that it’s true.
“We all think that our perspective is authoritative, and Tom thinks that his perspective is authoritative. But life’s actually a lot more subjective than that,” he said.
“And also, it’s like, the moment she starts expressing herself — the moment she starts being like, “Okay, I can trust you, I’ll tell you about myself” — the voiceover drowns her out,” Deschanel added.
“And starts talking about Tom!” Gordon-Levitt continued. “If that voice is Tom’s voice, that means that while Summer is telling him about her dream, he is just thinking about how special he is.” You can watch a video of the chat here.
Speaking of his character back in 2012, Gordon-Levitt said that Tom is ‘no romantic role model’.
“The (500) Days Of Summer attitude of ‘He wants you so bad’ seems attractive to some women and men, especially younger ones. But I would encourage anyone who has a crush on my character to watch it again and examine how selfish he is.”