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The following FAQ entries may contain spoilers. Only the biggest ones (if any) will be covered with spoiler tags. Spoiler tags have been used sparingly in order to make the page more readable.
For detailed information about the amounts and types of (a) sex and nudity, (b) violence and gore, (c) profanity, (d) alcohol, drugs, and smoking, and (e) frightening and intense scenes in this movie, consult the IMDb Parents Guide for this movie. The Parents Guide for (500) Days of Summer can be found here.
(500) Days of Summer is based on an original script by screenwriters Scott Neustadter and Michael H. Weber.
In the movie 500 is a countdown. The film charts the course of Summer and Tom's relationship and gives us various days in parentheses for different scenes. Co-writer Scott Neustadter has also stated that it is an homage to 80's pop songs that were titled this way. i.e. "You Make My Dreams (Come True)".
Day 500 is stated to be Wednesday May 23rd, and that date was a Wednesday in 2007, so day 1 is January 8th, 2006.
The common thought seems to be that Tom (Joseph Gordon-Levitt) saw The Graduate (1967) as a movie where a man pursues his one true love and wins her. However, the end of The Graduate has Ben (Dustin Hoffman) and Elaine (Katharine Ross) escaping from the Elaine's wedding and boarding a bus. As the bus drives off their expressions quickly change from ones of euphoria to ones showing more ambivalence. Many people interpret the ending to mean that the two ultimately realize how foolhardy their romantic escapade was or, at least, that they both harbor doubts about the future.
It's suggested in the audio commentary that it is indeed fictional. However, there seems to be some debate amongst the director and screenwriters whether or not it is, so it's up to the individual viewer.
Two songs by The Smiths feature in the movie. "There Is a Light that Never Goes Out" and "Please, Please, Please, Let Me Get What I Want." For the rest of the songs and corresponding scenes, try here.
Sweet Disposition by The Temper Trap. The song can also be heard throughout the movie and is on the soundtrack.
You can read it online here.
The writer has said that the sentiments behind the line were inspired by a real woman he knew, but the name "Jenny Beckman" is invented.
Yes, and that's part of the comedy of the performance. The character is based on the screenwriter's own younger sister who would often give him relationship advice.
There's no evidence to suggest this and it would seem to run counter to Summer's character that she would be carrying on an affair behind Tom's back. The only reason some people seem to think this is because of the timeline. Tom and Summer break up on day 290 and she is married by day 488 a mere six months later. Many people seem to think that this is too quickly for Summer to have met someone else and gotten married. However, while the trend now is for engagements to last for an extensive period and for people to date or even live together for years before getting engaged, some people do get married shortly after meeting someone. This is, perhaps, in keeping with the movie's themes about love. Once Summer has encountered a man she truly loves she knows it and there's no reason for her to wait an extended period before solemnizing that love through marriage.
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