12 Things You Didn't Know About (500) Days Of Summer

"This is a story of boy meets girl." So begins the movie (500) Days of Summer. It's a deliberately misleading start. Yes, a boy – Tom Hansen (Joseph Gordon-Levitt) — and a girl — Summer (Zooey Deschanel) — indeed meet. But (500) Days of Summer is not quite a love story. It's the story of a relationship, filtered through one man's obsession.
(500) Days of Summer came out on July 17, 2009, 10 years ago today. Since then, it's inspired countless heated debates. Is Summer a manic pixie dream girl, or is her character flatted by Tom's perspective? Is Tom in the wrong? Is the movie actually just one long revenge plot?
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These are the conversations you've already had — but these are the facts about the movie you didn't already know.
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Summer was a real girl, kind of.

500 Days of Summer opens with a "hate note" to a woman named Jenny Beckman: "Author's Note: The following is a work of fiction. Any resemblance to persons living or dead is purely coincidental. Especially you Jenny Beckman. Bitch."

Jenny Beckman is a real woman — and the inspiration for the character Summer. Beckman had dated Scott Neustadter, the movie's screenwriter. When she dumped him, he wrote a movie about the experience.

According to an op-ed by Neustadter in The Daily Mail, Neustadter met Beckman in October 2002 at the London School of Economics: "When I met this girl in London, my depression lifted, my heart filled with love again and I felt that this could only be the result of divine intervention. We began chatting and found that we shared the same taste in books and music. That had to mean something, right?" Their tumultuous, label-less relationship is depicted in the movie.

Before (500) Days of Summer came out, Neustadter had to have an awkward conversation with his ex, with whom he wasn't on speaking terms. Beckman said she identified more with Tom than with Summer.
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The film was designed to bring out Zooey Deschanel's eyes.

When (500) Days of Summer starts, Tom is in a Summer-less world. Everything is colored in muted brown and beige tones.

Then, Summer bursts into his life. Enter: The color blue. When Tom and Summer's relationship is going well, (500) Days of Summer emphasizes the color even more. In the iconic "You Make My Dreams" dance scene, for example, Tom dances among a crowd of people wearing blue. He's wearing brown.
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Photo Credit: Watermark/Kobal/Shutterstock
Even Joseph Gordon Levitt is Team Summer.

At the end of (500) Days of Summer, Summer chooses another man. This should come as no surprise. Summer had been upfront with Tom about her expectations all along: She didn't want a relationship with him. But Tom disregards her individual needs, because he was obsessed with the idea of Summer more than with Summer.

"[The breakup] is mostly Tom’s fault. He’s projecting. He’s not listening. He’s selfish. Luckily he grows by the end," Levitt tweeted in 2018.
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Photo Credit: Watermark/Kobal/Shutterstock
Summer was written as a blonde.

In the original script, Summer is described as having "cropped blonde hair almost like a boy’s but her face is feminine and pretty enough to get away with it." Nothing is said about Tom's facial appearance, of course.
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Photo Credit: Watermark/Kobal/Shutterstock
Summer and Tom aren't from real places.

Tom and Summer's hometowns of Margate, NJ and Shinnecock, MI can't be found on any map. That's because they don't exist. It's fitting — (500) Days of Summer is based on the illusions of relationships. It's not real.
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The break-up scene is set to the music of a band that broke up.

Simon and Garfunkel's "Bookends" plays while Tom and Summer go on their last date, to see The Graduate. Famously, Paul Simon and Art Garfunkel split up at the height of their fame in 1970. The breakup continues to be acrimonious.
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Zooey Deschanel and Joseph Gordon-Levitt parodied their (500) Days of Summer relationship.

In a short written and directed by (500) Days of Summer's Marc Webb, Deschanel and Gordon-Levitt acted out their characters' break-up scene — this time as ill-fated punk rockers Sid Vicious and Nancy Spungen. These versions of Sid and Nancy argue about which one of them is Summer, and which is Tom. In real life, Sex Pistols guitarist Sid Vicious murdered his 20-year-old girlfriend Nancy Spungen in 1978.
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You can't sit on Tom and Summer's bench anymore.

Fans of the film used to regularly make pilgrimage to the bench in downtown Los Angeles. However, in 2013, the expanse was fenced off due to state cutbacks. According to The Hollywood Reporter, the defunded Community Redevelopment Agency could no longer maintain Angel's Knoll.
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One scene sounds a lot different on TV.

Tom and Summer compete to hear who say the word "penis" louder. When their little game airs on TV, the word "panda" is used instead.
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The last scene is set in an iconic L.A. spot.

Tom meets Autumn — the woman who comes after Summer — in L.A.'s Bradbury Building. The five-story office building was built in 1893. Its gorgeous atrium has provided the backdrop for many movies, including Blade Runner, The Artist, Lethal Weapon 4, and of course (500) Days of Summer.
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Oh, and Minka Kelly plays Autumn.

When you think 500 Days of Summer, you probably immediately think of Zooey Deschanel. But Minka Kelly, forever known as Lyla Garrity from Friday Night Lights, plays Autumn, Tom's (aptly named) next love interest.
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Photo Credit: Watermark/Kobal/Shutterstock
The movie's leads haven't ruled out reuniting for a sequel.

Deschanel and Gordon-Levitt often how the movie's events would play out from Summer's character's perspective. “We never quite figured it out because we thought it would be fun to do 500 Days of Tom from Summer’s point of view. The movie is so from Tom’s point of view. So, we thought it would be interesting to see her point of view," Deschanel said in an interview with PureWow.
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