Dec 20, 2016
(500) Days of Summer (2009) (part 5 of 10)
And now, it’s Day 303. And I should note that the motif in the “counter” screen is the amount of foliage on the tree in the watercolor painting. Sometimes it’s covered in green leaves, and other times, like here, the tree is bare.
I think it’s supposed to reflect Tom’s mood on the day we’re about to watch. Because what this movie was sorely lacking was any kind of indication of Tom’s state of mind at any given point. The character is a total cipher. I mean, I know a cartoon bluebird just landed on his shoulder, but it’s damn near impossible to figure out what Tom is thinking or feeling without a tree on an incidental painting growing and/or losing leaves.
On Day 303, the elevator doors open, and Tom looks like hell. He walks to his cubicle, and he looks over at Summer’s desk, and it turns out an overweight black woman now has Summer’s job. I guess Tom is not so much into the sistahs, because he just sits there looking depressed. And also, we’ll never find out why Summer quit her job, though I assume her reasoning would be something along the lines of, “’Cuz I felt like it!”
Across the cubicle wall, McKenzie wants to know if Tom’s been able to “get her back yet”. He gets his answer when he sees the look on Tom’s face. So McKenzie suggests instead writing a book about Summer, because Henry Miller once said that “the best way to get over a woman is to turn her into literature”. Ah, yes, another workplace chat involving Henry Miller. I’ve heard so many Henry Miller quotes around the water cooler, you wouldn’t believe it. But Tom just says “that guy had a lot more sex than me”.
Then he turns to his computer and sees an email from Summer, and Summer’s voice narrates the email as he reads it. She says she can’t hang out this weekend, but maybe next weekend, and then comes the final line of, “I hope this means you’re ready to be friends!” Tom looks despondent. Bleh.
I guess some couples actually do become friends after breaking up, but for the most part, “let’s be friends” is just something people say to feel less bad about dumping somebody. A couple trying to stay friends just seems incredibly pointless to me, especially when one person is still hung up on the other as much as Tom is here.
And now we’re back at Day 45, with Summer in the copy room singing the Knight Rider theme song into her cell phone. McKenzie walks in and sees her, and immediately walks out. It turns out she’s on the phone with Tom, who’s at his desk maybe twenty feet away. See, this references their earlier conversation where… you know, it’s really not that important.