Do not read if you have not seen 500 Days of Summer or Don Jon and if you want to see either of those movies.
*You’ve been warned!*
There’s a story on the interwebs1 about 500 Days of Summer. The script writer based it on a real story from his life; the girl he based Summer on read his script and related more to Tom than to Summer. I’ve always liked 500 Days of Summer and even more so after I read that story. It’s the same reason I liked Don Jon.
Initially, when I saw 500 Days of Summer I thought that it was a role reversal kind of romantic movie. But after thinking about it some more I realised that the movie was just a reflection of real life. It’s hard to miss the fact that Summer did tell Tom (a number of times) that she wasn’t looking for a relationship2, or the fact that he thought that he could change her mind. They both had different expectations going in; and isn’t that the underlying issue when it comes to any sort of relationships? Expectations?
This is where Don Jon comes in3. Both characters had unrealistic expectations.
Barbara’s expectations were shaped by her addiction to the Hollywood depiction of romance while Jon’s expectations were shaped by his addiction to pornography. Interestingly enough, neither of them realized either their addictions or the role it played in shaping their view on relationships. Another interesting thing was the way they both reacted to the news of their flawed relationship views.
I think, after seeing the movie, it might be easy to dismiss Barbara as crazy because she doesn’t see that she was flawed, but is she really that strange? There are a lot of things that I do that might hurt someone else, that I might not see as wrong and might not see the need to change – I’m not talking about political correctness here – but that doesn’t mean that I have not wronged that person.
Everyone’s worldview is different. We’re shaped by our experiences and the things we are exposed to that’s what makes us individually unique. Interestingly enough, even if we are exposed to the exact same things it’s possible that our reaction to those thing are different. I think really loving a person is appreciating the differences instead of having them confirm to your ideal (or in Barbara’s case, she wanted to “fix” Jon so he would be her perfect man).
There have been a lot of times where I have placed my expectations on people, this ultimately that leads to disappointment. Disappointment is the pit for broken expectations. On the other hand, it’s hard to see that I’m doing it. I’ve been trying though, and journaling and talking to people helps with that. It helps me to see whether I was listening to the person or imposing my views on them. What might be good for me might not be good for someone else and that’s something that I always have to keep in mind.
Life would be easy if we can truly imagine each other complexly.
Anyways … watch Don Jon, it was good. 🙂
1 That story was from the writer himself.
2 This doesn’t make it right – what she did – but he had ample warning.
3 BTW, great movie; could have done with less nudity.