People are constantly getting (500) Days of Summer wrong and villainizing the wrong person. Neither is really the villain. Both are just misunderstood. However, our main character, Tom Hansen, never learns his goddamn lesson.
Summer is upfront with Tom, right away, about what she wants. There are some mixed signals, but overall, she’s very clear. Once they break up, yes, she does get engaged and ends up getting married, which is something she told Tom that she did not want. But, in reality, she did not want that with him, and he ends up hating her for it. Which, might I say, is just completely unfair.
Tom projected what he wanted in a partner onto Summer. He viewed her as (one of my least favorite tropes) a “manic pixie dream girl”. She was going to turn his world upside down. She liked the same weird stuff that Tom liked. But, as Tom’s sister, Rachel, states: “Just because she likes the same bizzaro crap you do doesn’t mean she’s your soul mate.” It takes far too long to get that concept through Tom’s head. And, worse, Tom does not learn his lesson. At the end of the film, he meets a woman named Autumn, and his days begin all over again. He learned nothing from his relationship with Summer. His relationship with Autumn is just as doomed. Tom wants to find a quirky girl who would whisk him away and, realistically, that just isn’t going to happen. Especially when he keeps, as I said, projecting everything he wants in a partner, instead of looking at what he actually has. Dude needs to listen better.
Summer is not the villain. She is a person with thoughts and feelings and is trying to process them the best she can while the man she is involved with puts all this pressure on her to be something that she isn’t, whether he realizes it or not.
And that’s all I have to say on that subject.