Rom Com Refelction: Scott Pilgrim vs. The World

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Each month the Cinelinx staff will write a handful of articles covering a specified film-related topic. These articles will be notified by the Movielinx banner. Movielinx is an exploration and discussion of our personal connections with film. We’ll even submit reviews of the films we discuss so that you can get a better idea of what we’re talking about. This month, with Valentines Day right around the corner, we look at romatic comedies. What do romantic comedies mean to you? Feel free to add your own comments or reviews of movies that you find personally influential.


 

I’ve admitted in the past, and feel no shame in doing so, that I enjoy a good chick flick/rom com every now and again.  I love all movies and as long as it’s enjoyable and has a good story, I’m definitely down to watch it.  With this month bringing about Valentine’s Day it’s a prime time to sit back with your significant other and enjoy a romantic film.  So today, I’ve decided to talk about one of my favorites; Scott Pilgrim vs. The World

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Let’s forget the sappy stuff for a moment, and talk about why it’s such a fun film to watch, because, when it comes down to it, films are meant to be enjoyable!  Scott Pilgrim is a film I can honestly say, never gets old with me.  No matter how many times I’ve seen it (hint: it’s a ridiculous amount) I enjoy just as much as the time previous.  A big part of that success, comes from it’s ability to reach audiences of all kinds.

Seriously, this movie has something for everyone.  If you’re a fan of music, video games, or pop culture in general, the film is chocked full of references and nods to all aspects of entertainment.  For those not really into the whole love story ‘thing’ the film is riddled with action sequences that, while sometimes goofy, are still exciting to watch.  It also manages to be very humorous, with several moments that will have you laughing loudly time and time again.  Then of course there’s the love story elements, and the battles (both literal and figurative) one must go through to make it work.  

This is why I’m so sad that the film never played well in theaters, instead becoming more of a cult classic once it landed on blu-ray.  It’s a powerful piece of storytelling and one I find myself coming back to frequently.  Even today it still feels like it’s not given the attention it so rightly deserves.  People see the goofiness of it, and tend to try and write it off as something else, not seeing the depth of the message.  

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While it’s wrapped in an interesting package, the Scott Pilgrim story offers up an insight into the more modern world of romance and dating, rather than a storybook kind of romance.  It’s more about acceptance and understanding yourself and your own wants before trying to share your life with someone else.  It’s a powerful and serious theme, and even though it’s approach is humorous, that doesn’t make the overall message any less meaningful. 

The film talks often about the dreaded exes, and not just Ramona’s who are out to defeat our titular hero, but everyone’s.  The truth is breaking up is never easy and sometimes letting go of those feelings for another person can be much harder than expected; even when it’s for the best.  While some people deal with this problem by getting angry (the League of Evil Exes) others jump right into another relationship, hoping the new person’s acceptance will heal those wounds (Scott’s high school girlfriend).  

Scott struggles with this idea constantly throughout the film and it’s only once he accepts and forgives himself that he’s truly able to move on and find a way to share his life with someone else.  It’s a profound statement and not the one you expected to see in this movie.  Relationships are fraught with uncertainty, and the film portrays that well.  Even when the credits start to roll there’s no guarantee Scott and Ramona are going to make it work; there’s no “Hollywood” ending for them.  That’s not the main message, however, as the real point is finding a way to be happy with yourself regardless of whether you’re with someone or not, which is the only way to be happy together.  

It’s an enduring message that speaks to multiple generations of people.  While the pop culture references make it more accessible to a younger (teens, young adults, etc) audience, it can still be engaging for older crowds too.  It may not feature all the traditional tropes and archetypes of your standard romantic comedy films, Scott Pilgrim vs. The World is still worth watching with your significant other this Valentine’s holiday season…Or any time really!  

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Have you seen the film?  What are you thoughts on it being a modern RomCom classic?  Be sure to share your thoughts with us in the comments below!

-Jordan

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