29 August 2010

Scott Pilgrim vs the World (2010)

Scott Pilgrim had nerd hype galore and great reviews all around. Still, it tanked opening weekend and hasn't exactly been picking up steam since. I've read that it's too insular, the references go over most people's heads, or that the movie just didn't have an obvious audience like Expendables or Eat Love Pray. Actually, here's five theories for Pilgrim's flop, compiled in a nice and neat article. John Scalzi also wrote, "The Dollar Value of Nerd Love (Here's Looking at You, Scott Pilgrim)," which tries to capture why internet geek buzz for a film might not translate into big bucks. Which is sad because Scott Pilgrim was really a fun and frenetic film and now Hollywood won't take chances on this kind of stuff anymore.

The movie was a little bit like Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind for the video game generation. Okay, it's actually nothing like that but there's something very similar going on with Kate Winslet's Clementine and Mary Elizabeth Winstead's Ramona -- I mean aside from their constantly changing hair color. I think Clem's quote, "Too many guys think I'm a concept, or I complete them, or I'm gonna make them alive. But I'm just a fucked-up girl who's lookin' for my own peace of mind; don't assign me yours" fits Ramona perfectly. Mary Elizabeth Winstead is great by the way, and I mean that in the shallowest way possible as she's just beautiful. I should have remembered her from Sky High but I didn't.

And while I'm no Michael Cera super fan, I couldn't see anyone else in this role. His patented sad sack loser charm seems to fit well as the main character. Maybe it's time for Cera to stop playing these kinds of characters but I think people are just hating. There will be a Cera revival soon after this backlash. The rest of the cast is great too, especially Ellen Wong, who I'd like to see become the next great Asian American actress. Or Asian Canadian I guess since she's from Ontario. She stole every scene she was in and brought so much enthusiasm to the screen.

Speaking of Asian Canadians, the creator of Scott Pilgrim thing is Bryan Lee O'Malley, who is mixed and part Korean I believe. That's just a tidbit though since what's really important is that he's all awesome. I'm so jealous of his premise for the series: "Boy loves girl and has to fight off her seven evil exes." It's so simple and genius. If I had thought of that I would be world famous and a genius too. Okay maybe not.

Anyway, you should watch this movie because nobody else is. And that's just criminal. I leave you with Linda Holmes' article: "Scott Pilgrim Versus the Unfortunate Tendency to Review the Audience."