Recently, the spouse and I watched 500 Days of Summer (I know, we've been watching a lot of netflix lately).
It's your not-so-basic boy (Tom) meets girl (Summer), boy falls madly in love with girl, girl likes boy at first and then grows disenchanted and finally dumps him. (This is not really a spoiler cuz you realize this in the first 20 minutes of the film).
What I really appreciated about the movie though, is that it's told from a total guy perspective. It exudes all-thing-guy, like when Tom felt really cool, looked at his reflection in a car window and saw Hans Solo winking back at him. This movie makes me feel like I'm taking a journey through the male psyche--a simple, and uncomplicated terrain (just kidding, but not really).
But in the end, I was left with one question: Was Summer an evil b*tch? (The spouse unhesitatingly answered with a resounding YES). But I'm not sure...
She did toy with Tom's affections, lead him on, tease him, and inflame his hope only to throw him away like yesterday's trash...
The movie made a point of noting that she never cheated on him, was honest with him from the beginning that she was just "having fun" and not "being serious," and was clear and unequivocal about their breakup.
You can't help but feel like, in the end, she actually was an evil b*tch (or at least a big jerk).
Maybe it was because Tom liked her so darn much. He wore his affections on his sleeve and freely held out his wildly-beating heart to her. It was obvious that he liked her 100 times more than she liked him. Maybe 1000 times.
In that way, you couldn't help but feel that Summer took advantage of him. She knew there was this vast love-differential, but she jumped into the relationship anyway, knowing that he would more than likely get hurt.
Perhaps she should've kept a safe distance from him and helped him to guard his heart. She should have been her 'brother's keeper'.
Although, I have to say, that's quite a tall order for anyone to undertake--policing yourself on behalf of someone else because you don't want him/her to fall too hard.
Prior to watching this movie, I had never even thought about that as an obligation owed to a suitor. And in fact, I wish I had followed that practice myself in my younger years...alas.
This movie should be required watching material for anyone coming of age. It's a refreshing slap-in-the-face dose of reality and so much more healthy (and educational) for impressionable young people to watch than the typical mythologies of romance peddled so often on the big screen.