As she leaves, Tom tells her he really hopes she is happy.Twelve days later, on Wednesday, May 23, Tom attends a job interview and meets a girl who is also applying for the same job.
He finds that she shares his favorite spot and dislike for the parking lots. Co-writer of the film Scott Neustadter admitted the film was based on a real romance.
As he is entering the interview, he invites her for coffee afterwards. Neustadter explains that when he met the real girl who inspired the character Summer as a student at the London School of Economics in 2002, he was rebounding from a bad breakup back home, and promptly fell "crazily, madly, hopelessly in love" with the girl who "returned his kisses but not his ardor." The ending of the relationship was "painfully and unforgettably awful," which prompted him to co-write the film with Michael H. When Neustadter later showed the script to Summer's real life counterpart, she said she related more to the Tom character.
As an independent production, the film was picked up for distribution by Fox Searchlight Pictures and premiered at the 25th Sundance Film Festival.
It garnered favorable reviews and became a successful "sleeper hit", earning over $60 million in worldwide returns, far exceeding its $7.5 million budget.
After several months of dating, both Tom's friends and his preteen half-sister Rachel push him to question Summer where they are in their relationship, though Summer brushes this off, saying that it should not matter if they are both happy.
One night, Tom gets into a fight with a man who tries to pick up Summer in a bar, which causes their first argument.
Tom goes on a blind date with a woman named Alison.
The date does not go well as he spends it complaining about Summer until an exasperated Alison ends up taking Summer's side.
She explains that Tom was right about true love existing; he was just wrong about it being with her.