I would submit that the same thing you find in the female characters is true for the male characters: They are rewarded and seen as "good" and "right" when they act in ways that are normally reserved for women in romantic comedies. Granted, they are not necessarily positive female qualities any more than the male qualities Summer and Rachel are given... but they are there nonetheless: The obsessing, the overthinking, the inability to function in their lives because of a romantic interest, the breaking into random song and dance in the streets... Seem familiar? It should, because that's the female role in every other romantic comedy.I hadn't really thought of that. Looking back, I might have been judging the move by an inappropriate set of standards. Not being a romcom fan, I wouldn't have noticed it as a play on that genre. By a set of standards for that given genre, the movie really may be quite good at what it does.
I would submit that it doesn't matter if we fall in love with Summer or not. It matters that HE loves Summer, and then gets over her, and then meets Autumn.
That's one of the (several) reasons I really do like this movie: It's refreshing to see the GUY be thrown off-kilter and be so in love that it rules his life, to see the GIRL be the one who doesn't know what she wants, to see HER learn something from HIM about what a relationship should be and how you will just know when it's really right and should force something that isn't completely right... For someone who watches and enjoys romantic comedy, it's a nice role-reversal.
Still I didn't feel the heartache of the loss that seems so central to the movie. Again, maybe it's because I'm not a romcom fan and I don't identify with the protagonist at all. But also perhaps because I'm in such a different romantic life situation.