500 days of Summer is a romantic dramedy that is more a critique on romcoms than a love story in itself. This should come as no surprise as the writers, Scott Neustadter, and Michael H. Weber, establish this at the very beginning of the script.
The film follows Ted Hansen’s journey as he falls in and out of love with a girl named Summer. It does not matter what kind of girl Summer is because the film is about the kind of girl Summer Ted thinks she is.
The film is a critique of how modern day lovers project their expectations about love, romance, and relationships that they’ve undoubtedly learnt from pop songs, rom coms, other such media, onto their partner. Only to realise that in reality, their partner is not who they imagined they were, never pretended to be who they thought they were, and never can be who they wanted them to be.
Thus the script goes to great lengths to set up its characters, lead us down their perception of reality, while warning us that this will not end well. Thus when the expected happens, the film revisits the same moments and this time we see the reality for what it is.
This technique is quite refreshing and well used, the script reads like its meant to be edited, as if written by an editor and thus has a sharp, to the point style that allows for just enough metaphors that you feel the moment but do not stagnate in it.
It’s been a while since I saw the film and I am not sure I will rewatch it, but the script was enjoyable and really well crafted.