This movie was incredible. Incredibly heart crushing. But incredibly brilliant. When it came out in theaters, I didn't think much about going to see it. But all of a sudden, a few weeks ago, I started hearing lots of people talking about it.
Since two rounds of plans crashed and burned for New Year's Eve, and since I couldn't seem to keep the vital organs like lungs on the inside of my body for more than 30 minutes at a time on the faithful turning of the decade, I decided to go to my favorite place, Blockbuster (where else can you buy Alfie and Dreamgirls for three bucks each? The $5 bin at Walmart has convinced me that I shouldn't pay more than $9.99 for a movie. Ever.), and rent a few movies for the weekend. I got Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince (which I slept through the first time at my parents' house but was anyone else as surprised as me to find out the true identity of Snape?), Julie & Julia (a whole 'nother blog post in itself), and (500) Days of Summer.
This movie hit way too close to home for me and almost mirrored my past (and present) relationships to a level of creepiness that is way off the scale.
The story is about a guy who is a hopeless romantic. From the time that he was young, he's always known there was that "one girl" for him. He's waited all of his life to meet "the one" and one day, as he sat in the otherwise mundane weekly idea pitch meeting at his job at the greeting card company, Summer walked into his life.
Summer couldn't have been more wrong for this guy, considering her utter unbelief in the theory of love, destiny and fate. Because of circumstances beyond her control when she was younger (i.e. her parents divorcing), Summer doesn't see the point in relationships or putting a label on things. She says why go through all that pain?
Summer and Tom enter into a relationship that looked from the outside, and on Tom's side, to be love at long last. Tom considers Summer to be his girlfriend yet Summer still refuses to put a label on things which always results in the ever-resurfacing argument about how relationships are a two-way street.
Long story short (SPOILER ALERT), Tom and Summer call it quits after about a year and a half. Tom is crushed and still pines after Summer, with his hopes building upon the sporatic contact he and Summer have and then being utterly dashed upon Summer's mention of "hoping this means you are ready to be friends".
When the duo reunite at a coworker's wedding celebration, Tom thinks this could finally be the opportunity when the time is right for both. Maybe Summer has had a change of heart. She's realized that Tom's her perfect fit. And soon we find out that Summer has had a change of heart. It's just not for Tom. She meets a new beau and "just knows". Just like Tom has told her before that he "just knew" that he was supposed to spend the rest of his life with her.
As the credits rolled and I began to eject the disc and put it back in its case to send back to the movie store, I couldn't help but be reminded of my history of relationships these days.
For about five years, I was Tom. I was completely head over heels for someone that I thought at the time was "the one" but as I look back on it, was completely wrong for me. And that's why we aren't together now. Tom's wise little sister in the movie told him when he was still in the mourning period and it was getting kind of old, that he was looking back and only remembering the good times. He was missing all of the signs. When he looked back again, every fourth memory was good but the others were the ones that he was missing. The ones that made him realize that things weren't as good as he thought.
When I was young, like most Southern little girls, I imagined going to college, meeting the man of my dreams and my bridesmaids, having a ring on my finger by the spring semester of my senior year and married a year later. Well folks, I don't know if you've been paying attention but, I'm 26 and still single. Really single. Like I haven't had a relationship in about 4 years. Dates, yes. But someone to call my own, no.
On the other hand, nowadays, I find myself being more like Summer. Not as cynical but almost. I've seen way too many relationships end in the past couple of years, relationships that I saw as perfect, yet I was wrong. It doesn't bother me much when young couples break up after a few years, but when relationships that have born children and couples who have built a life together for 10, 20, even 30 years come crumbling down in a heap, it's hard for a young girl like me, a hopeless romantic to think that anything good can come from a relationship these days. What's the point when it's all going to come to a screeching halt someday when I'm not looking?
(I know, I know. God's got everything under control. Believe me. This is just babble. I know when it comes down to it, it's all in God's perfect plan what happens. He uses marriages and divorces for his glory and I'm seeing that right now.)
I also look at my life and see people in my life that are completely right for me yet I don't see them as "the one". So does that mean they are "the one", and that the timing is not right? Does that mean we are just meant to be really good friends for the rest of our lives?
I don't know. What I do know is that life is life. Things happen, relationships bloom and fail, but life goes on. It goes on in the movie, and it goes on here. And there are always other fish in the sea. I'm starting to see that now.
So...audience pariticipation time. For those of you reading and are still single, are you Tom or Summer or a mix of both? For those of you who are married, either for a little while or a long while, did you "just know" or did you decide after a while that this was someone that life just didn't feel right without?
"This is a story of boy meets girl. But you should know up front, this is not a love story."