Out of curiosity, I recently watched the romantic comedy “500 Days of Summer”. I was pretty certain it would be utter shit. Really, don’t expect too much. However, the relevant part is that that movie was a massive box office success. It was made on a budget of a few million dollars, but it brought in a few hundred million dollars at the box office. Thus, it clearly must have appealed to the female psyche.
The main character of the movie is “Summer”, an utterly mediocre-looking woman and one of the least attractive women you will ever see in a main role. She is played by Zooey Deschanel who can’t act, but that’s a different story. Summer is an edgy chick who listens to indie rock bands and wears her hair in an ironical 60s-style. Despite there being nothing remarkable about her at all — even the narrator in the movie comments on that — it just so happens that everyone brightens up around her and every other man has to take a double take. You know, even though she is utterly mediocre, there is just “something” about her. Nobody can explain it, but it is just there.
Now you can see why this movie struck a chord with your typical narcissistic woman. They have nothing to offer, they look like nothing, they have no hobbies, but they nonetheless believe they are special. I chuckled when the movie tried to make the point that Summer is special because she listens to indie bands that are mainstream in the UK and Europe, but apparently next to unknown in the United States. It does not matter what she listens to. She is still consuming. She’s just consuming something of a different flavor like music outside of the Top 40 (in the US, not in Europe).
This movie being a female empowerment fantasy, we see Summer boldly making moves on the guy, who is some poor schmuck who has a bunch of losers as friends and who takes dating advice from his 10-year-old sister. I have rarely seen a less absurd setup. Yet, he falls head over heels for Summer. It is not quite clear why. He just does. In the movie, it’s because they have similar tastes, but what is that good for? (In the real world, your girlfriends quickly start liking whatever you like anyway, to a varying degree, so it does not quite matter what she’s into.)
Summer is your stereotypical Western woman in a different outfit. She strings that guy along for 500 days, playing hot and cold with him. She’s just toying with him, telling him that she’s not sure and whatnot. In between, she has random bouts of affection, which lead to make outs, sex, and couple activities. Whenever Summer wants, her bitch boy is available. As a consequence of the hot-and-cold ploy of that girl, this Joe Schmoe gets more and more attached to her. Whenever she withdraws affection on a whim, or based on calculation, he gets more obsessed about her. It’s painful to watch. In the end, he completely unravels when he learns that Summer has been dating behind his back. What is worse, he learns that she got engaged at a private party, when she parades her ring around. It seems she only invited him to rub it in her face that he is now superfluous. Meanwhile, he’s still hoping that they will get back together.
The female fantasy on display in this movie is one of universal desirability, never-ending options, and a complete lack of commitment. Yet, one day, Summer wakes up and realizes that even though she never wanted to be anyone’s girlfriends, she now wants to be someone’s wife — and Chad just so happens to be around and available, a hunk of a man who is leagues above her. What a joke of a movie 500 Days of Summer is. Yet, it’s catnip for single cat ladies.
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