- The 2009 Zooey Deschanel (opens in new tab) and Joseph Gordon-Levitt (opens in new tab)movie 500 Days of Summer sparked debate over who, exactly, was the villain of the story—Deschanel's Summer, or Gordon-Levitt's Tom?
- Twitter user @chrissymeds reawakened the debate, tweeting that Summer was "the movie villain" and Tom was "the actual villain."
- Gordon-Levitt agreed, tweeting, "I approve this message."
Perhaps you've heard of a small 2009 Belle and Sebastian-soundtracked, partially Ikea-based movie titled 500 Days of Summer? And perhaps you watched said movie as a teen, and could not imagine how Zooey Deschanel could possibly break sweet, precious Joseph Gordon-Levitt's heart so callously, only to subsequently realize that Deschanel's Summer was not to blame for refusing to be the one-dimensional manic pixie dream girl (remember that phrase?) Gordon-Levitt's Tom projected onto her? Well, in happy nostalgia news, JGL himself just tweeted that he absolutely agrees with the latter take, and said tweet quickly went viral.
If, like many of us, you're spending an increased amount of time on Twitter of late, you'll no doubt have encountered the "villain/actual villain" trend. @chrissymeds tweeted (opens in new tab) photos of Summer and Tom, titling the former "the movie villain" and the latter "the actual villain," a very correct tweet that quickly went viral. Then Gordon-Levitt himself chimed in, tweeting, "I approve this message."
I approve this message 👀 https://t.co/AVnY3bbCPUJuly 9, 2020
In a 2019 interview (opens in new tab) with Entertainment Weekly to celebrate the movie's 10th anniversary, both Deschanel and Gordon-Levitt agreed that Summer was not, in fact, the villain of 500 Days of Summer. "This is a movie with zero dramatic irony. Zero. It is 100 percent from Tom’s point of view, which we’ve talked about before, but it’s one thing people very much misunderstand about the movie. They think Summer’s a villain," Deschanel said.
"And a lot of it has to do with this voiceover, and I think that’s sort of part of the point, that the voiceover sounds authoritative, so you believe that it’s true," Gordon-Levitt agreed. "We all think that our perspective is authoritative, and Tom thinks that his perspective is authoritative. But life’s actually a lot more subjective than that."
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Emily Dixon is a British journalist who’s contributed to CNN, Teen Vogue, Time, Glamour, The Guardian, Wonderland, The Big Roundtable, Bust, and more, on everything from mental health to fashion to political activism to feminist zine collectives. She’s also a committed Beyoncé, Kacey Musgraves, and Tracee Ellis Ross fan, an enthusiastic but terrible ballet dancer, and a proud Geordie lass.
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