Not a Love Story: Making (500) Days of Summer

Synopsis: A behind-the-scenes documentary exploring the making of Marc Webb's 500 Days of Summer (2009).
30 min

[ Whistling ]

[ Pencil Scribbling Rapidly ]

[ Whistling Continues ]

[ Man Narrating ]

This is a story of boy meets girl.

The boy, Tom Hansen

of Margate, NewJersey,

grew up believing that

he'd never truly be happy...

until the day he met ''the one.''

This beliefstemmed from early exposure

to sad British pop music...

and a total misreading

of the movie The Graduate.

[ Dustin Hoffman On TV ]

Elaine! Elaine!

[ Narrator]

The girl, Summer Finn

ofShinnecock' Michigan'

did not share this belief.

Since the disintegration

of her parents' marriage'

she'd only loved two things.

The first was her long' dark hair.

The second was how easily

she could cut it off...

and feel nothing.

Tom meets Summer onJanuary 8.

He knows almost immediately

she's who he's been searching for.

This is a story of boy meets girl.

But you should know up front'

this is not a love story.

They made a statue of us

And put it on a mountaintop

Now tourists come and stare at us

Blow bubbles with their gum

Take photographs offun

Have fun

They'll name a city after us

And later say it's all our fault

Then they'll give us a talking to

'Cause they've got years ofexperience

[ Vocalizing ]

Living in a den ofthieves

Rummaging for answers in the pages

[ Vocalizing ]

Living in a den ofthieves

And it's contagious

And it's contagious

[ Vocalizing ]

[ Beeps ]

[ Buzzes ]

We didn't know

who else to call.

It's Amanda Heller

all over again.

You did the right thing.

[ Sighs ]

Now' where is he?

[ Plate Shatters ]



What are you doing here?

I'm here to help you.

Help me how?

First' put down the plate.

Drink this.

- What is that?

- Vodka.

Um' does Mom know

that you're here?

'Cause it's probably past 1 0:00.

[ Sighs ] Don't worry about it.

Just start from the beginning,

and tell us what happened.

[ Tom Narrating ]

Things were going so well.

Then what?

I think we should

stop seeing each other.

Just like that?

Just like that.

- Did she say why?

- I mean' this thing. what are we doing?

I mean, is this normal?

Normal? I I don't know. I don't care.

I'm happy. Aren't you happy?

You're happy?

You're not?

All we do is argue.

That is bullshit.

Maybe she was just

in a bad mood.

Yeah, maybe like

a a hormonal thing.

- P.M.S.?

- What do you know about P.M.S.?

- More than you' Tom.

- Then what happened?

This can't come as

a total surprise to you.

I mean, we've been

like Sid and Nancy

for months now.

Summer, Sid stabbed Nancy...

seven times with a kitchen knife.

I I mean, we have some disagreements,

but I hardly think I'm Sid Vicious.

No. I'm Sid.

Oh, so I'm Nancy?

Let's jus t eat,

and we'll talk about it later.

Mmm. That is good.

I'm really glad we did this.

I love thes e pancakes.


Tom, don't go.

You're s till my bes t friend!


- You've broken up with girls before.

Yes .

And girls have broken up

with you before.

This is different.


'Cause it's Summer.

So you'll you'll

meet somebody new.

Point is , you're

the best guy I know.

You'll get over her.

I think it's kind of like how they say.

There's, uh

There's plenty of other

fish in the sea.


They- They say that.

Well, they're lying.

I don't want to get over her.

I want to get her back.

[ Man ]

Maybe playing it s afe

is the wrong approach.

The nuclear family is dead'

and we need a new holiday

that recognizes that.

May 21 st.

Other Mother's Day.


I'd s ay we've got

s ome potential here.

What do you think, Hans en?

Could you write up s ome

prototypes for these?

Uh' Mr. Vance,

there's a telephone call

foryou on line three.

Oh. Thankyou.

Uh' everyone, this is Summer,

my new as s istant.

Summerjust moved here from


Right. Michigan. Right.

Uh, Summer, everyone.

Everyone, Summer.

Excus e me. I have to take this.

It's nice to meet you all.

[ Narrator]

There's only two kinds

of people in the world.

There's women, and there's men.

Summer Finn was a woman.

Height, average. Weight, average.

Shoe s ize, s lightly above average.

For all intents and purpos es ,

Summer Finn,jus t another girl.

Except she was n't.

To wit, in 1998,

Summer quoted a song

by the Scottis h band

Belle and Sebastian...

in her high school yearbook.

''Color my life

with the chaos oftrouble.''

This spike in Michigan

sales oftheir album...

The Boy with the Arab Strap...

continues to puzzle industry analys ts .

Summer's employment

at the Daily Freeze

during her sophomore year...

coincided with an inexplicable

[ Dings ]

Every apartment Summer rented...

was offered at an average rate

of 9.2% below market value.

And her round-trip commute to work...

averaged 1 8.4 double takes per day.

lt was a rare quality,

this ''Summer effect.''

Rare, and yet s omething

every pos tadoles cent male

has encountered...

at leas t once in their lives .

For Tom Hans en to find it now

in a city of 400,000 offices ,

and 3.8 million people-

well, that could only

be explained by one thing:


[ Man ]

Dude, I hear she's a b*tch.


Yeah. Patel tried to talk

to her in the copy room.

She's totally not having it.

Maybe s he was jus t in a hurry.

And maybe she's an uppity,

''better than everyone'' superskank.


I know.

She's pretty hot.

That sucks .

Why is it pretty girls...

think they can treat people like crap

and get away with it?

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Scott Neustadter

Scott Eric Neustadter is an American screenwriter and producer. He often works with his writing partner, Michael H. Weber. The two writers wrote the original screenplays for Days of Summer and The Pink Panther 2. Days of Summer is based on two real relationships Neustadter had. more…

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Submitted on August 05, 2018

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