(This first. Listen to the clarity of the lower octave notes that Regina adds in waves and waves at the end of the chorus; you can tell it’s a quality grand piano just from how those notes resonate — an upright would sound much muddier at the low end. This is the song that plays on day (408) and it’s fucking perfect. Also, title from the lyrics.1)
It would appear that someone made a movie of my last relationship, and (500) Days of Summer is to #8 as Eternal Sunshine was to #4. The interesting part is that it was released early last year, during the relationship, and I wonder if it would have changed anything on my end, had I seen it then. And if she saw it now, would she understand things from my perspective? Or does she understand already? And if other people saw it, would they understand how one could unwittingly get their hopes up when things are so clear from the beginning?
I’m so glad Marc Webb, the director, treated the material with such grace. You can tell it was based on experience because the tender moments come from a real place (co-writer Scott Neustadter admitted Summer was based on a girl who “returned his kisses but not his ardor”). In an interview, Joseph Gordon-Levitt said, “I’ve had my heart broken before. Truly, truly broken. But when I look back at me in my heartbroken phase, it’s pretty hilarious, because it felt so much more extreme than it really was. One of the things I love about (500) Days of Summer is that it doesn’t make light of what we go through in romances [emphasis mine], but it is honest about it and shows it for what it is, which is often profoundly funny”, and I completely agree. I also appreciate the fact that they don’t villainize Summer because she never takes advantage of Tom2, and at the same time, it doesn’t make the agonizing days he goes through any less significant or difficult. In a profound way, it brings justification to everything I was (or am) going through. I suppose I’m just waiting for the punchline.
Watching it has left me feeling emotionally devastated lately, almost as if I’ve regressed, and lost months of progress. Perhaps it’s because seeing it was like seeing her again, reliving the entire thing from day one, from when we had met in the office. Like a recovering alcoholic falling off the wagon and taking his first sip in 5 years. That doesn’t mean I don’t appreciate the message, and as well as the recommendation to watch the movie from Darren.
Even though I’ve tried to completely forget and move on, I’ve come to learn it’s not that easy. It’s almost as if you have to accept the all the memories, both good and bad, as much as you accept your own qualities and flaws.
The days, months, years you spend with someone significant will inevitably change and shape you. To deny them is to deny yourself.
I found it fascinating to trace the plot developments to parts of my own story. The entries I’ve written over the last two years echo the sentiments so strikingly in dialogue, songs, and voice-overs.
Things in blockquotes are either narrator voice-over or directors notes. I listed the events linearly too (even though the film is presented in non-linear fashion) for the sake of clarity. It’s also interesting to see how the calendar title cards change backgrounds, from bright and sunny, to red and simmering, to grey and bleak.
This is a story of boy meets girl. The boy, Tom Hansen, of Margate, New Jersey, grew up believing that he’d never truly be happy until the day he met “the one”.
From my entry The Penultimate Letter — “My whole life, I looked for someone like you. Someone who was capable of raising me to my potential, someone who was worthy of the love I have to offer. But even then, I never knew I was capable of a love that resonated so deeply in my person.”