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Placemaking in the Film 500 Days of Summer

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We never remember in chronological order, especially when we’re going back over a failed romance. We start near the end, and then hop around between the times that were good and the times that left pain

People always say “start at the beginning,” but we didn’t know at the time it was the beginning. "500 Days of Summer" is a movie that works that way.

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You might think that revealing the end of Tom and Summer’s relationship might be a spoiler for (500) Days of Summer. Yet, the film does the same thing. The film goes out of its way to ensure you know that this is not going to end well. In the beginning, we get to know both Tom and Summer, who have quite distinct views of love. The narrator gives away that this is a story about boy meets girl, but not in fact a love story

There is no cliché of a misunderstanding so that they can come back together again at the end of the film. Tom and Summer just start drifting apart from each other without a true reason. While we do follow the story of how these two end up dating, the film has the tendency to jump back and forth. We see them while they are dating and after they broke up. The 500 days mentioned in the title becomes a recurring element. It allows the viewer to keep an overview of where we are in their relationship. The film keeps moving back and forth through time while telling the story; it is quite unorthodox, but perfect to show how different yet similar these highs and lows can be.

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However, after she invites him to her house, he realizes that she does not indeed love him any more than she did before she broke up with him. He discovers that she is engaged to someone else. He gets depressed. This is the climax of the film as he crumbles, losing his self-esteem and wallowing in his self-misery for being rejected and heartbroken by Summer. The next part of the plot is dedicated to his attempts to extricate himself from his state of depression by revisiting his old ambitions and meeting a new girl (500 days of Summer). He ends up quitting his job and leaving his house to start again to follow his dream of becoming an architect. The breakup becomes a turning point in his life as he gradually becomes more authentic. True to his beliefs, he quits his job, which he hates. However, unlike the conventional situation where the hero rediscovers himself and is rewarded with instant success Tom’s situation is quite different. His dreams of becoming an architect seems to dwindle with every job application. Despite his impressive portfolio, potential employers keep on rejecting him (500 days of Summer). However , as the movie ends, he meets another girl, an architect like him, against whom he is competing for a job. He chats her up

As he turns to introduce himself, he realizes that her name is Autumn, which is a sign of his continuation and ultimate moving on in life.

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Briefly, there are many ways to interpret the whole psychological theme of the film, but the general theme is that loving someone doesn’t necessarily mean that it is “meant to be” between you and that person. The film is directed towards the complications and inconsistency of a relationship

It shies away from the typical Hollywood theme that “love is a fantasy,” and directs itself towards the reality that a relationship doesn’t always turn out the way a person intends it to.

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500 days of Summer. Ex. Prod. Webb Marc. Los Angeles, CA: 20th Century Fox. 2010. DVD.

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