It’s unclear as to how much of the internet’s collective rage against Zooey Deschanel is actually based on her as a person, but we do know that a huge percentage of it stems from her character’s treatment of Our Beloved JGL in (500) Days of Summer. How many of us sat at home on our couches (or, let’s be real, in a movie theater full of strangers), yelling, “It’s okay, my sweet prince, I will love you forever! Forget her and come let me lick your precious, be-sweatered wounds!!” (possibly whilst licking the screen)? Or was that just me? I have a hard time believing that we all didn’t feel a serious pang of jealousy as we watched poor TomTom’s heart get torn to shreds by a set of bangs wearing little girl dresses, unable to do a thing about it. Whether he’s drawing on our arms, kissing us in the copy room, or simply gazing at us with eyes that resemble warm chocolate cupcakes, Tom would be a perfect fictional boyfriend.
To tell you the truth, I think it was just her. And whence cometh all this “rage” against ZD? I can think of things she’s done that are far worse than picking on little Tom-Tom, and you don’t see me with knotted BVDs.
In the movie, we see on a number of occasions that Tom’s own perception of Summer is very different from reality. The “expectations vs. reality” scene is probably the most obvious example. Based on all of Summer’s past behavior, including her admittance that she isn’t ready for commitment and her continued disinterest during the relationship, Tom still EXPECTS her to want him. He expects her to greet him with love and affection after all that time, because he’s just the nicest guy, you know?
In reality, she’s just a smart, thoughtful twenty-something who knows herself well enough to know that this guy is not the one for her. She initially turns him down, which should have been the Big Damn Signal of Truth and Destiny (“dude, she’s just not that into you”). But Tom is persistent, and she is, presumably, lonely.
I am so stealing that bit about the Big Damn Signal of Truth and Destiny.
If there’s a lesson in this, it’s simply: be wary of the Manic Pixie Dream Girl. The most immediate effect of being swept off your feet is losing your equilibrium.