500 Days of Summer is a romantic comedy-drama film that centers around the relationship between Tom and Summer. The movie presents itself from the perspective of Tom as it employs a nonlinear structure depicting certain days within the 500-day window that he had contact with Summer. Early on, the movie tells the audience that the relationship fails with the early days showing the couple happy, and the later days depicting Summer as distant towards Tom. The audience is meant to believe that Tom is the protagonist and that Summer is the evil person that breaks up with him with the reasoning that she didn’t want a relationship, yet she ends up married at the end of the film to another man. With this scenario, it’s easy to document Summer as a terrible person that played with Tom’s feelings, yet that is far from the truth.
Summer had moved to New York City where the film takes place, to find herself. Summer came from a divorced family and struggled with the concept of love. This is initially why she takes an interest in Tom as she believes that he could show her love. Summer urges Tom to show her what she is missing in life, ie. love, even though she tells him constantly that she doesn't need love. The thing is that Summer didn’t want to necessarily find love, but figure it out as she doesn’t fully understand what it is due to her dealing with her parent’s divorce at an early age.
Throughout their relationship, Summer eventually loses interest in Tom as Tom only repeats activities that he knows caused a spark between them such as goofing off at the records store. This causes Summer to think that love isn’t special because she can’t see herself with a person like Tom Since, Summer throughout the movie is an explorer with her wanting to get tattoos and pressuring Tom to pursue a new career. I personally think that this scared Summer as she couldn’t imagine a life with Tom, the person who is comfortable with not exploring anything new. This causes her to become distant and eventually end the relationship.
The film then shows Summer content with her life and marriage to a new man, as she had finally found what she was looking for with the right person. This causes a conversation with Tom about how she ended up married after repeatedly telling him that she didn’t want a relationship. Summer responds that she just woke up and knew one day that she wanted to marry her new boyfriend. This cements the idea that Tom just wasn’t the right person for her, and that she wasn’t a bad person.