500 Days of Summer: Moving Past Your Happy Ending

(500) Days of Summer is more than an indie rom-com that features characters that are impossible not to love. It’s about taking risks and enjoying the journey, rather than yearning for that unattainable happy ending. I saw this movie¬†again, for the millionth time. It’s pretty much my favorite movie. Here’s why.

Warning: Major Spoilers. It’s a romantic comedy, for which I am a total sucker for. Yeah, I’ll admit it. But it’s different from most. The movie is super artistic, and jumps back in forth in time, each scene opening with the number of the day this guy is involved with the girl, Summer, hence the title. The story is a guy who gets dumped by a girl, and he is on his quest to get her back. If you’ve seen the movie, he doesn’t.

What I love most though is the ending. It doesn’t resolve in a happily ever after. It just starts on a new day. The guy goes searching for a new job. He goes in for a job interview, but we don’t know if he gets it. It’s just an interview. And he meets a new girl and gets a first date. But we don’t know how it will go, or if they end up happily ever after. It’s just a date. And the number switches from day (500) to day (1).

That’s what I love. We go through our lives yearning for that happy ending. If only I had that girl, or that job, or that car, or that home, or that whatever, then I would be happy. But no matter what we attain, it never really satisfies like we hope it would. We’re left yearning for more. Or if we don’t get it, we’re left discouraged and in a constant state of discontent.

The ending of this movie communicates a different message than most others. It’s not one of arriving, but of moving forward. Life is not about reaching the happy ending, but enjoying every new day and the new opportunities that come with the journey. You may not find your soulmate today, but hey, you’ve got a date. You may not find your dream job, but hey, it’s an interview. You may not find that [fill in the blank], but hey, it’s an unwritten day to take a step in that direction. To risk and live all over again. Today is day (1)

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