In June I wrote a post about how 2010 summer films suck - describing "Scott Pilgrim Vs the World" as a film that "looks absolutely awful" (along with "Jonah Hex", "Piranha 3D" and "The Sorcerer's Apprentice"). I willfully admit that I was wrong - I finally watched it over the weekend and it is far from awful. It will actually be listed among my favorites of 2010 - here is why:
1. It is Innovative - so I am sort of sick of the whole comic book film genre (or graphic novel film genre if you prefer)- they are all starting to look the same. But this film took a comic book film and twisted it with a video game. It felt exciting and new - I was invested in the film for the entire 2 hours because I was fascinated by its creativeness. It is surreal and escapist but it was also really intelligent - you had to actually pay attention in order to "get" the jokes and follow the story. I think the film really won me over with the Seinfeld skit (complete with annoying laugh track) - It was pure genius. Yes, it was also pretentious and had a whole "too cool for school attitude" - but for me it just worked. Really well. I remember seeing the trailer for the film a few times and thinking that it just looked weird and boring - the dialogue was awkward and not funny. It is surprising how completely different the film is from the trailer. They should totally fire the person responsible for creating such an unappealing trailer for such an awesome film.
2. The Story - If you strip away all of the visual effects, hipster dialogue and indie rock music you have a pretty simple love story. Basically, it is about this girl who is emotionally abused by her controlling boyfriend - so she decides to leave him, but he has the whole "if I can't have her than no one can" mentality and sets up an elaborate plot to keep away potential suitors. Scott Pilgrim (our protagonist) falls in love with her and decides to do whatever it takes to win her heart. It's compelling and heartfelt, even without all of the other stuff (sort of like another favorite of mine - 500 Days of Summer).
3. The Cast - I feel like the trailer that I saw focused on Michael Cera and a lot of other people that I didn't recognize. Yet, the film had a fantastic supporting cast - Kieran Culkin (if you don't think he is hysterical in this film - then there is something wrong with you), Anna Kendrick, Aubrey Plaza, Mae Whitman (love all 3 of them!), Jason Schwartzman and a surprisingly funny appearance by Brandon Routh (he had the most hilarious part - with the whole Vegan police). Michael Cera is forgiven for his trilogy of crappy films (Year One, Paper Heart & Year in Revolt) - I adored watching him kick some evil ex ass. I felt like he grew up a little bit too - not as awkward and pathetic as usual.
4. It's Quotable - I seriously died several times from laughing so hard. The lines that stick in my head from the first viewing are: "They make movies in Toronto?", "Bread makes you fat?!!" and "I wanna have his adopted babies." I am smiling just thinking about it.