Friday, February 26, 2010

500 days of like, love and heartache.

"Boy meets girl. Boy falls in love. Girl doesn't."
"This is not a love story. This is a story about love."

Boy that falls in love: Tom Hasen
Girl that doesn't: Summer Finn

Written in narrative form, Tom Hansen reminisces back onto the 500 day relationship he had with Summer Finn- the story is told in a non-chronological order - as we typically remember fragmented memories of the past in random flashbacks.

Tom Hasen is your typical average romantic joe from New Jersey. Summer Finn on the other hand is your cynical girl next door from Michigan. At the greeting card company where they work in LA, Tom meets Summer and falls in love with her. Summer on the other hand is someone that does not believe in relationships or boyfriends. Inevitably, the stars align and they become more that just friends. Summer still insists that she does not believe in Love. After 290 days, Tom and Summer break up after they watch a film, which Tom thinks shows true love. Summer quits her job at the greeting card company and falls into a deep depression as he wallows in self-pity insisting that summer was the 'one' for him. Eventually, after living off alcohol and junk-food, Tom quits his job. After a number of random encounters post-break-up, Tom and Summer finally meet again to talk on day 488 at their favorite spot in the city. Despite not understanding her completely, he finally reaches a point of acceptance and moves on with his life. 12 days later, he meets another girl, named Autumn.

In this coming-of-age story, we see Tom and Summer's relationship progression through the days, weeks and months. We see him being drawn to her in their first encounter in the lift as they find common ground with the same taste in music - an attitudinal similarity between the two in preferences. Despite Summer's cynicism towards love and relationships, destiny brings them together as their proximity from each other at work provided more opportunity for interaction. They enter a stage of self-disclosure and find out more about each other. Conflict arises as their different views on love put a strain on things. They break up and Tom goes into denial and depression.

Some people say it takes 'half the time you were with someone, to get over someone' - not. The act of 'getting over' is one of those things that is easier said than done. When someone is heartbroken, it consumes that person and debilitates them mentally, physically and emotionally. They become paralyzed and as described - broken. The path to acceptance for some, is a social process in which they seek advice and consolation within their social network. For others it is an internal process of 'Grave-dressing' as they try to figure out 'what went wrong' to find closure.

When tragedy strikes when you least expect it to, it is human nature to cling onto whatever you can salvage. This makes it very hard for someone to 'move-on' in their lives without reason. Time frames vary to the degree of the relationship and the ability of the person to rationalize and be objective. Tom, eventually finds closure and happiness again within himself. This opens him up again to the other possibilities of connecting and loving someone else, other than Summer.