It's been over five years since the release of (500) Days of Summer, but time hasn't lessened our love for this movie. It's a romantic comedy without the conventional happy ending, and it made us all sit up and realize that Joseph Gordon-Levitt might be the big screen's most adorable leading man. To celebrate his birthday — he's 34 this week! — we're looking back at the reasons we all can't get over this movie the way Tom just can't get over Summer. (Note: this is best read with "Sweet Disposition" playing.)
It tells you right up front that it's not a love story.
But it comes in with wise relationship insights immediately.
You know this is going to be a movie about immense heartache.
But also hope, falling in love, and Joseph Gordon-Levitt's adorableness.
As Tom, he's so upfront and candid about his feelings.
And there's Zooey Deschanel as Summer, who is decidedly NOT Jess Day in this movie.
Jessica Day would hate the penis game.
It features Chloë Moretz as Tom's wise-beyond-her-years sibling.
She has kind of a foul mouth, but it's just tough love.
His friends are just like yours, helping to decode dating signals.
With pretty good advice, actually.
It gave you a new appreciation for The Smiths.
It makes the greeting card industry seem kind of fascinating.
. . . And also made you want to stop buying greeting cards.
It makes downtown LA look romantic and beautiful.
Tom has the coolest apartment, with that awesome chalkboard wall.
The movie has some really funny, quotable lines.
In fact, the comedy can be pretty silly.
Tom's humor is just a little off, but it just makes him cuter.
JGL's karaoke skills are off the chain.
And of course, Zooey brings it too.
It makes Ikea seem like a romantic wonderland.
It made you want to make out among the Malms after seeing this.
It also made the copy room seem like a good makeout spot.
When Tom and Summer are together, you feel all these things.
Especially when you see stuff like this nuzzle.
And then: there's this dance sequence.
Which accurately captures how it feels to have gotten some.
Seriously, this is one of the best dance sequences ever.
He's just so adorable and committed.
But it's still realistic, with sharp observations about love.
Tom gets to say all the things you've wanted to say in "what are we?" conversations.
The hard stuff you were always maybe too scared to say.
Oh, and he may be sensitive, but Tom can still throw quite a punch.
And when Summer breaks his heart, Tom's experience is scarily relatable.
He feels the way you yourself have felt.
He says things to the world you wanted to say.
He hears the lines you've heard before.
The expectations vs. reality split screen is heartbreaking and perfect.
And yet, he still remains romantic and hopeful, even at his darkest.
Summer continues to break Tom's heart, but she's so honest about it, you kind of respect it.
Tom gets hurt, but you know what? He also grows up a little because of it.
You know he's still that romantic guy inside.
And still the guy you want to end up with.
There's still hope at the end, even if the new love interest's name grates on you.
But still — there's this! And we fall all over again.