For the past few years, I would frequently watch one of my favorite movies, 500 Days of Summer, and completely enjoy it up until the very end. This was the first movie I had ever encountered that didn’t end with the two main characters living happily ever after, and quite frankly it baffled me as to why it ended that way.
Despite the narrator warning us in the beginning of the movie that this is not a love story, you totally want to forget about that during the middle when Tom falls completely in love with Summer, and even though she breaks his heart, you still have hope that they will end up together in the end. It made me so upset that someone like Tom, who was nothing but loving and caring, doesn’t end up with the person he thinks he deserves, and instead gets basically dumped on the side of the road as if he meant nothing to her. Then it finally hit me, this is one of the most realistic movies ever made. How many times have we actually seen a “fairy tale ending,” like this one in real life? Not too often I would say. That’s when I realized that those kind of endings are not real and are made for the movies. I’m not saying people don’t fall in love and get married and live happily ever after, because of course that happens. It just never occurred to me that sometimes people might have had an interesting past relationship that got them to that point.
I was young and naive when I used to think that my first love would be my only, and that heartbreaks weren’t meant for me. I used to hate the ending to this movie, where Summer gets married to someone else and Tom eventually meets some other girl at a job interview. All this time I thought Summer was absolutely perfect for Tom, but then I realized that she was never the right girl for him because she never appreciated him like he deserved to be. Happy endings do happen to everyone, it just might not be in the way you expected, or with the person you expected. Now, after experiencing a little more of life, I can finally say that I understand and very much appreciate the ending to 500 Days of Summer. It brings a realistic approach and shows you that life goes on after a heartbreak, and that there really are many, many other fish in the sea.