I got dragged by a chick to see the movie 500 Days of Summer……………. ah, alright the truth is I wanted to see it too, not least of which because Zooey Deschanel is such a doll, thereby making up for her lack of range as an actress.
I thought the movie would be a clever indie riff on the typical rom-com, but it turned out to be the usual insufferable paeon to the righteously inscrutable whimsy of women and the ingratiating helplessness of the beta male, leavened with a gimmicky forward and backward calendar hopping effect. The lead male character, Tom, played self-pityingly by Joseph Gordon-Levitt, is the culmination of thousands of generations of beta males distilled into one uber beta. Every time he was on screen, I wanted him to get gang raped by a horde of fokken Prawn. Instead, he just goes on his merry beta way the entire length of the movie. Luckily for him, he is good-looking in that nonthreatening way that appeals to weirdo chicks, so he snags quality pussy despite himself. Had his character looked like the typical guy his crippling betaness would have meant involuntary celibacy.
Here is a partial list of the repellent beta things Tom did:
- He spends weeks pining for Deschanel’s character, Summer, before making a pseudo-backasswards-move. Game principle violated: The 3 second rule.
- He peers over his cubicle wall at Summer (she’s the admin at his office) like a creepy stalker. If he was a fat, balding old guy this behavior would get him slapped with a sexual harassment suit. Game principle violated: Everything.
- His first “date” with her is with a group of co-workers at a karaoke joint. Game principle violated: Avoiding LJBF territory.
- After karaoke night, they are drunk and Summer makes an *obvious* girl-style move on him — that is, she gives him the veiled opportunity to grab her and kiss her right there. But he misses all the cues and takes her beta bait, agreeing that it would be great to be her friend. Game principles violated: Escalation. Recognition of IOIs.
- In the copy room, she makes the first move and kisses him. Game principle violated: Being a leader.
- Somehow, they wind up in her apartment and bang, though the viewer is left not really knowing why she decided to go for it. Game principles violated: Relying on your cutesy emo youthfulness to get any action from women. Obtaining the inaugural bang on her turf.
- Tom daydreams about Summer constantly. Game principle violated: One-itis.
- He blubbers incessantly to his friends and < Wise Latina voice > Wise Little Sister < / Wise Latina voice > about his love for Summer and how to win her back after she dumps him. Game principles violated: Pedestal-ization. Toolery.
- When Summer dumps him in the diner, he is shellshocked. Game principle violated: Always keep two in the kitty.
- After the ignominious dumping, Tom spends months in a deep blue funk, flagellating himself and bringing everyone around him down. Game principle violated: Irrational self-confidence. Alpha philosophy violated: Interchangeability of women.
- Summer invites Tom to a party she’s hosting. Tom arrives filled to the brim with expectations that Summer will fall in love with him again, and, in what was the cleverest part of the movie, a split screen shows Tom’s expectations clashing with reality. At the party, Tom sees a fat diamond on Summer’s finger and realizes she is engaged. He sees the fiancee across the room, and then runs out of the party, his soul tormented, his penis shriveled. Run, Beta, run! Game principle violated: How to win back an ex-girlfriend. Alpha philosophy violated: Substituting wishful thinking for reality.
- While pining for Summer, Tom’s Wise Little Sister tells him to try and remember all the bad times in his short-lived relationship with her. Tom then gets all hindsightful, and recalls in crystal clear clarity what he couldn’t see when it was staring him in the face — namely, all the red flags Summer was planting in his ass. Like the way she dropped his hand first when they were holding hands, or the way she stopped giggling at his mincing hipsterly jokes, or the increasing frequency with which she told him she was “busy that night”. Naturally, this awakening shakes Tom out of his depression. Game principle violated: LTR management. Alpha philosophy violated: Unerring grasp of women’s nature.
It’s possible the director intended his movie to be a subversive precautionary tale for men — act like this guy and you’ll be a loser in love — but I think it likelier that the movie’s point was to serve as a nostalgic wallowing for hopeless romantics (you know, the kind of guy who describes himself as a feminist and is always ready to hoist his latest lust object onto a gilded pedestal) and the c’est la vie wing of the aggro-emo feminized buttplugging beta masses. Case in point: Tom never changes his stripes and never understands how he fucked up. The overriding message of the movie is: Hey man, sometimes love hurts. And chicks are mysterious forces who want what their hearts want, so there’s nothing you can do about it except dance to their tune.
Give this movie to me and I would have had a mentor teach Tom the fine art of sacking up, blessed him with some game and LTR tips, and informed him of the bestial nature of women. Then the movie would have been re-titled 5 Days of Summer, because Summer would have run crying from the room after she found Tom boffing her hotter best friend.