Zoey Deschanel is perfectly cast in this movie as the sort of woman who walks all over a man without him actually realizing what has happened to him, because she does it with a smile on her face and lots of charm. Throughout the movie, it is kind of unclear actually as to what it is about Summer as a person that Tom (Joseph Gordon Levitt), such a sensitive, funny, and smart guy, finds enticing and falls for. Besides looking cute, Summer is not particularly fun or funny, charming, kind or generous. She is aloof, cold, distanced, has no sense of humor and is kind of insincere actually. She has Tom wrapped around her little finger, leads him on and treats him like crap.
Maybe her constant withholding and elusive charm is what he is attracted to? He sure wouldn’t be the first because he keeps pursuing her with such fervor and goes back for more.
In its essence, this movie is a story about a man loving a woman who doesn’t love him back. Summer, of course, blames life and the nature of relationships for her behavior, but we all know that these are just the standard, run of the mill excuses one hears from people who don’t love you.
They say that the power of a relationship lies with whoever cares less. No movie exemplifies this more than this one. Summer is the one who cares less and so she clearly holds the power in this relationship, which she unkindly uses.
500 Days of Summer is a charming, intelligent love story that arrives at common wisdom regarding love and relationships in an unconventional way. It is beautifully photographed, with believable characters, engaging dialog and a great soundtrack.