(500) Days of Summer is a 2009 comedy drama film. It was written by Scott Neustadter and Michael H. Weber, directed by Marc Webb, produced by Mark Waters, and stars Joseph Gordon-Levitt and Zooey Deschanel. The film employs a nonlinear narrative structure, with the story based upon its male protagonist and his memory-driven look at a failed relationship. Principal photography began in April 2008 in Los Angeles, California. As an independent production, it was picked up for distribution by Fox Searchlight Pictures and premiered at the 2009 Sundance Film Festival. It was a hit with audiences and received a standing ovation at the festival. It later went on wide release in the US on August 7, 2009, on September 2, 2009, in the UK and Ireland, and on September 17, 2009, in Australia. The film went on to achieve widespread success. It garnered critical acclaim and became a successful "sleeper hit", earning over $60 million in worldwide returns, far exceeding its $7.5 million budget. Many critics lauded the film as one of the best from 2009, seeing it featured in many year end lists and drawing comparisons to other acclaimed films such as Annie Hall and High Fidelity. The film also received numerous awards and nominations; including Scott Neustadter and Michael H. Weber receiving the 2009 Satellite Award for Best Original Screenplay and the Independent Spirit Award for Best Screenplay. Notable nominations included two at the 67th Golden Globe Awards for Best Picture (Musical or Comedy), which it lost to The Hangover, and a nomination for Joseph Gordon-Levitt for Best Actor (Musical or Comedy), who lost to Robert Downey, Jr. for Sherlock Holmes.
The film is presented in a nonlinear narrative, as it jumps from various days within the 500-day span of Tom and Summer's relationship, indicated by an animation that includes the day's number; this summary is a linear version of the events of the film. On January 8, Tom Hansen meets Summer Finn, the new assistant to his boss. Tom trained as an architect but works as a writer at a greeting card company in Los Angeles. Following a karaoke night, Tom's friend and co-worker McKenzie reveals that Tom is attracted to Summer. During the next few months Summer and Tom grow closer, despite Summer's telling Tom that she does not believe in true love, and does not want a boyfriend. Tom shows Summer his favorite spot in the city, which overlooks a number of buildings he likes, although the view is spoiled by parking lots. After several months of dating, Tom gets into a fight with a man who flirts with Summer, and they have their first argument. On day 290, Summer and Tom end their relationship after they see The Graduate, a film which Tom thinks shows true love. Tom does not take the breakup well, and Tom's friends call his younger sister, Rachel, to calm him down. Summer quits the greeting card company. Tom's boss moves him to the consolations department, as his depression is not suitable for happier events. Months later, as Summer and Tom attend the wedding of a co-worker, they dance at the wedding and Summer catches the bouquet. They sit next to each other on the trip home, and Summer invites Tom to a party at her apartment. He attends the party, but leaves when he sees that Summer is wearing an engagement ring. Tom enters a deep depression, only leaving his apartment for alcohol and junk food. After a few days, he returns to work with a hangover and after an emotional outburst, quits his job. He decides to rededicate himself to architecture, makes a list of firms, and begins to attend interviews. On day 488, Summer sees Tom at his favorite spot in the city, and they talk. Tom states his lack of understanding towards her actions. Summer explains that he was right about the existence of true love and that she discovered in someone else all the feelings she had never been sure about with Tom. Summer holds Tom's hand. She says she is glad to see Tom is doing well. As she leaves Tom tells her he really hopes she is happy. Twelve days later, on Wednesday, May 23, he attends a job interview and meets a girl who is also applying for the same job. They talk, and Tom learns she shares his favorite spot and dislike for the parking lots. Before entering the interview, he makes a date to have coffee with her afterwards. He asks her name, and she replies "Autumn".