So I went and saw Scott Pilgrim Vs. the World the other night, a witty, fast-paced romantic comedy based upon the graphic novel series by Bryan Lee O’Malley.
The movie follows the protagonist, Scott Pilgrim (Michael Cera) through snowy Ontario streets, ratty apartments and sleazy dive bars as he fights for the affections of Manic Panic loving, New York City transplant Ramona Flowers (Mary Elizabeth Winstead). Along the way, Scott has to battle Ramona’s League of Seven Evil Ex’s, as well as deal with his own slew of rocky love affairs, including a 17-year-old Japanese girl named Knives (Ellen Wong) and a Marilyn Monroe re-embodied blonde called Envy (Brie Larson).
Although awkwardly adorable and visually appealing to video game nerds, the film tries too hard to appeal to the Gen Y crowd. The audience is introduced to countless comical 20-something characters kind of bumbling their way through life. There is Wallace Wells (Kieran Culkin), Scott’s 25-year-old polyamorous gay roommate, and snippy Julie Powers (Aubrey Plaza), who works multiple jobs and hates every one of them. Each character seems like a quaint archetype for how society has come to see the members of Gen Y lately – lost, entitled, bitter, lazy, and promiscuous.
The sarcastic dialogue, prominent use of Internet acronyms (OMG OMG OMG!!!!), and ADHD pace of the movie will definitely appeal to the 17-24 crowd. Those in their late twenties will enjoy the references to Seinfeld and Mortal Combat.
Overall, I think Scott Pilgrim Vs. the World tries its best to capture the emotional pitfalls and turbulent relationships that are characteristics of being in one’s twenties. However, I think they fall short. A boy cannot win a girl’s heart by epically fighting all of her emotional baggage against a backdrop of SGI dragons and cartoonish comic-book text. There are some dragons we ladies must fight ourselves.