WI's Movie Moment: "Expectation vs Reality"

 Expectation vs Reality

Tom, goes to a party hosted by Summer. This is a while after they had broken up, and she invites him when they run into each other at a co-worker's wedding. In the scene, we see Tom heading out to Summer's party, but the screen is divided in half. The left side has a heading on the bottom that says, "Expectations." On the right says, "Reality." After getting along very well with Summer at the wedding, Tom thinks that maybe he'll get back together with her after that night. This is indicated by the narration at the beginning of the scene: "Tom walked to her apartment, intoxicated by the promise of the evening. He believed that this time, his expectations would align with reality."

In his expectations, he's greeted very warmly by Summer when he arrives, and spends the whole night talking to her exclusively, the two of them in their own little world as Summer ignores the rest of her company. But in reality, she gives him a stiff hug when he arrives, and makes small talk with him and her other guests. Expectation and Reality meet when Expectation shows Tom and Summer kissing in her apartment, while Reality shows Tom noticing Summer showing someone a ring...on a specific finger...on a specific hand.

It is at this point that Reality takes over Expectation. The camera dollies around the couple, and disappears behind a doorjamb while the Reality frame closes in on Expectation until the couple is completely gone. It's when Reality is the only frame that we see Summer is indeed wearing an engagement ring. All the while, a Regina Spektor song is playing in the background. The lyrics are so appropriate when they say: "It's all right  I'm the hero of the story, I don't need to be saved."

Tom leaves, unable to take the sight anymore, and as he walks away, he is silhouetted in the moonlight. The Los Angeles skyline and all the scenery in front of him changes to a pencil sketch, which then erases itself and Tom's silhouette is just a dark gray figure on a blank, light gray canvas. even though Tom and Summer are not together anymore, Tom still expects something to happen with her because of the chemistry that he thinks is still between them. The close up shot of Summer's hand with the engagement ring on her finger helps to create the feeling of complete devastation and heartbreak that Tom feels. Also, the animation at the end when Tom turns to just a blank gray figure further emphasizes his feeling of hopelessness and despair.

 Partygoer  : So Tom, what is it that you do?
Tom             : I uh, I write greeting cards.
Summer     : Tom could be a really great architect if he wanted to be.
Partygoer  : That's unusual, I mean, what made you go from one to the other?
Tom            : I guess I just figured, why make something disposable like a building when you can make something that last forever, like a greeting card.

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