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Cms 330 movie analysis presentation

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  • 1. Manica Hing CMS 330 Spring 2014 Interpersonal Communication in (500) Days of Summer
  • 2. Summary In the film (500) Days of Summer,Tom, a writer at a greeting card company, falls for his boss’s new assistant, Summer Finn, who he strongly believes is the woman he is meant to be with. However, Summer does not believe in love and does not want a romantic relationship. Despite their contradictory beliefs,Tom and Summer become friends and soon develop a more intimate relationship.The film depicts the various days of their relationship asTom reflects on all the good times and bad times he had with Summer. The film demonstrates how communication can foster, maintain, and damage a relationship. The primary communication concepts presented in the film include nonverbal communication, self-disclosure, and conflict management.
  • 3. Uncertainty Reduction Theory WhenTom’s boss introduces Summer to everyone, he mentions that she had just moved to the Los Angeles area from Michigan.Tom later uses this information to initiate a conversation with Summer at a co- worker’s engagement party. He approaches her and asks,“You just moved here, right?” He then goes on to ask her what brought her to LA. Tom is asking these questions to reduce his uncertainty about Summer.
  • 4. Implicit Personality Theory Tom and Summer encounter one another in the elevator with Summer. When she hears him listening to music byThe Smiths, she lets him know that she also lovesThe Smiths.This is before she knew his name.There shared love for the band becomes an assumed similarity forTom and alters his perception of her from “a pretty girl who thinks she is better than everyone else” to someone who is more accessible.Tom later talks to his adolescent sister, Rachel, about how he and Summer have similar interests. He associates these similarities with compatibility. He assumes that he and Summer are compatible just because she likes some of the same things as he does.
  • 5. Social Penetration Theory At the engagement party,Tom and Summer self-disclose factual information. One night at a karaoke bar, Summer shares some of her beliefs and values, including her belief that love does not exist. Later that night,Tom self-discloses his feelings for her. Summer kisses him the next day and they become friends.Tom later brings her to his favorite spot where he draws on her arm expressing his love for architecture.
  • 6. Social Penetration Theory (cont.)
  • 7. Nonverbal Communication After being in a relationship for some time, a man tries to flirt with Summer at a bar. The man then insultsTom. In response,Tom stands up and punches the man in the face. He perceived his action as a way of conveying his anger and protecting Summer, but she, on the other hand, interpreted it as a negative and unnecessary gesture. When they leave the movie theater,Tom notices that Summer is crying.When he tries to comfort her, she walks away.They then go to a record store where she recurrently avoids eye contact.As they leave the store,Tom tries to hold her hand but she quickly pulls her hand away from his.Tom later referred to these nonverbal cues as the “first signs of trouble.” In these scenes, Summer is nonverbally communicating her growing disinterest in the relationship.
  • 8. Empathy Tom discusses his relationship problems with Summer with Rachel and his friends, McKenzie and Paul.All three of them use sympathetic responsiveness, which is “empathizing by feeling concern, compassion, or sorrow for another person because he or she is in a distressing situation but not identifying with the specific emotion he or she is experiencing” (p. 261).They are concerned aboutTom but instead of addressing his emotions, they focus on understanding the situation by asking him to describe what happened.
  • 9. Supportive Messages The first supportive interaction depicted in the film is when Rachel comes over toTom’s apartment to provide her support after Summer broke up with him. She tells her brother to start from the beginning. Rachel actively listens to Tom. She communicates her attentiveness by sitting across from him, making eye contact, and leaning forward.Tom discloses to Rachel and his friends that Summer told him that she did not think that their relationship was working. Positive facework: McKenzie says toTom that he’ll meet someone new because he is the best guy he knows and he’ll get over her. McKenzie is supporting Tom by expressing his belief thatTom has the qualities and skills to endure the situation (p. 271). Framing information is “providing support by offering information, observations, and opinions that enable the receiver to better understand or see his or her situation in a different light” (p. 277). Rachel and his friends try to frame the situation by attributing Summer’s behavior to hormonal imbalance. In addition, sinceTom perceives Summer as being the only one for him, Paul also reminds him that there are “plenty of other fish in the sea.”
  • 10. Supportive Messages (cont.) Tom asks Rachel for advice on whether or not he should ask Summer about the status of their relationship. Rachel offers a suggestion by telling him what she would do if she was in his situation. Rachel says that if it were her, she would ask now before Summer goes after some other guy. She also gives him personal feedback... “You’re just afraid you’ll get the answer you don’t want which will shatter the illusions of how great these past few months have been.”
  • 11. The Assertive Approach When McKenzie asks Summer why she does not have a boyfriend, Summer responds with assertiveness. She says she does not want one because she feels uncomfortable being anyone’s girlfriend. She wants to be free and independent. She also believes that there is no such thing is love. She honestly verbalizes her feelings and preferences to them.When Tom tells her he thinks she is wrong about love and relationships, she says that they can just agree to disagree. By saying this, she is respecting his personal rights and preferences while defending her own. “There’s no such thing as love. It’s a fantasy.”
  • 12. Styles of Managing Interpersonal Conflict Tom often uses the accommodating style of conflict with Summer. Accommodating is resolving a conflict by satisfying the other person’s needs while neglecting one’s own needs (p. 363). One day at the IKEA store, Summer tells him that she is not looking for a relationship.Tom says that is fine with him even though he truly does want them to be more than friends. By accommodating,Tom satisfies Summer but at the expense of his own wants and needs.Tom also uses withdrawal.When Summer andTom have an argument at a diner,Tom gets up and walks away rather than sit there and try to work it out.
  • 13. Communicating in Intimate Relationships Summer engages in emotional disclosure when she tellsTom that she sometimes dreams about flying. She describes the dream asTom effectively listens.Afterwards she says toTom that she had never told anyone that before.This intimate interaction deepens their relationship. ForTom Hansen, this was the night where everything changed.That wall Summer so often hid behind – the wall of distance, of space, of casual – that wall was slowly coming down.
  • 14. Relational Uncertainty A source of relational uncertainty is the “absence of clarity about the nature of the relationship” (p. 417).When Paul asksTom if he was Summer’s boyfriend,Tom says he doesn’t know. He then becomes defensive and says that they do not need to put labels on their relationship because they are adults and that calling each other “boyfriend” and “girlfriend” is juvenile. Summer perceives their relationship as platonic butTom perceives the relationship as romantic.This tension causes problems in their relationship and contributes to its eventual demise. One day, they have a huge argument. Summer says that they are just friends butTom angrily disagrees saying that everything they have done together (i.e. kissing and holding hands) are not what friends do. He then loudly proclaims them as a couple and storms out of the apartment.
  • 15. Relational Uncertainty (cont.) Summer later apologizes and their communication becomes more open asTom tells her that he needs consistency, although Summer tells him that she can not give him that.As a result, their relationship comes to an end. Near the end of the film, Summer invitesTom to a party.What she did not tell him was that it was her engagement party.They later have one final conversation at his favorite spot overlooking the city.They provide each other with support with comforting messages.WhenTom gets upset and admits that love does not exist, Summer comforts him by affirming his original belief regarding love and destiny. She does this by explaining how she believed that she and her fiancée were meant to be and that fate had something to do with it.
  • 16. Evaluation I think the film (500) Days of Summer is a realistic depiction of interpersonal communication. It shows how communication increases intimacy in a relationship as demonstrated in the film through concepts such as self- disclosure and emotional support.The film also shows how communication can ruin a relationship, particularly how different views on life and the miscommunication of expectations can lead to conflict as well as inhibit a relationship from developing into a successful long-term one. I think there are a lot of people that can relate to eitherTom or Summer. For example, a friend of mine had broken up with her boyfriend because, like Summer, he refused to acknowledge that their relationship as a romantic one.As for myself, I do not think I would do well in such a relationship because of all the uncertainty associated with it. I can also relate to some aspects of theTom's communication style, such as accomodating to resolve conflicts and seeking support from family and friends.
  • 17. Sources  Verderber, Kathleen S., and Rudolph F.Verderber. Inter-Act: Interpersonal Communication Concepts,Skills,and Contexts. New York: Oxford University Press. 2013. Print.  (500) Days of Summer. Dir. MarcWebb. Perf. Zooey Deschanel, Joseph-Gordon-Levitt. 2009. DVD.  Google Images

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