There’s nothing glaringly wrong with this film, but half way through I realized that I’d rather be watching a different film. Rather than talk about the real 500 Days of Summer, I’d like to take this opportunity to tell you about my film. It starts the same way:
Tom believes in soul mates. Tom meets Summer and they start to date casually. Tom falls in love with Summer. Summer dumps Tom. Tom reflects on their time together.
My point of departure is catharsis:
Tom realizes that he didn’t actually know Summer, that she had no character. Rather, Tom is in love with a mental construct of his ideal mate. When Summer dumped Tom it shattered this construct, revealing her to be the Other. In addition to losing this particular construct, Tom recognizes the futility of new constructs.
Tom realizes that he is ultimately alone in the world. Tom will never truly know someone else and will never have the soul mate relationship he fantasizes about. Tom comes to accept the loneliness of the world and share the viewpoints of his two friends: McKenzie, who avoids suffering by lack of desire of the Other, and Paul, who recognizes that the Other is generic and continues to date the first girl who came along.
I’d probably have to give Camus a writing credit.