After the characters are introduced, we pick up Tom with the news that Summer has broken up with him. The turn of events has wrecked him. He is disillusioned with life and love, and decides to fight back. We are then launched into the series of events that led to this moment (and beyond). Randomly jumping around the 500 days, each stop in the story gives us hints and clues as to where the relationship is headed, as well as the changing feelings of our couple. A couple that is always a blend of potential and kinetic energy, never able to fully push the needle completely to kinetic, although they do get close on a few occasions.
It is fascinating to watch them dance around each other. Both are lost and vulnerable in different ways as they are attempt to find their way in the world together. They have such diametrically opposing outlooks, and each seems to try and sway the other's point of view, or at least meet somewhere in a comfortable middle. It is also interesting to note that the characters are written with characteristics usually given to the opposite sex. Tom is ever the romantic; while Summer wishes to keep it casual with a getaway option (not that she necessarily sees it like this, but the implications are there).
(500) Days of Summer is an alluring movie. It effortlessly draws you into the tale as it unfolds in non-linear fashion, pieced together from Tom's memories as he relates them. It is beautifully written by the team of Scott Neustadter and Michael H. Weber. They have a firm grasp on the story they want to tell and the reality in which they want to tell it. What makes the film even more surprising is that this writing duo was also behind Pink Panther 2. Watching where the characters are, and where they end up, is fascinating as some of each character's beliefs have migrated in the direction of the other: exactly what I think each hoped from the start.