I Didn’t Love Scott Pilgrim

I had to mention that. It appears lately that Scott Pilgrim has proven to be very polarizing. Most of the geeks I know absolutely adored it. Many critics absolutely despised it. I can’t figure out how this movie that I deemed to be “eh” has gotten so crazy.

I went to see it opening weekend. I knew nothing about it except what I had seen in the trailers. I hadn’t read the books, but I knew they existed. From the trailers, I was down the middle on how I expected the movie to go. I would say at the time I went to see it I was completely open minded. Since seeing the movie, I have now also read the first book to see if it was better. Honestly, I think it was worse.

My verdict: it wasn’t that great.

No, really, and I’m keeping my geek card. It just wasn’t that great a movie. Michael Cera doesn’t piss me off the way he does to many other people, but he was playing exactly the same Michael Cera character I’ve seen in Juno and Superbad. Nothing he brought to the part seemed to define Scott Pilgrim in a different way. Oh, he could fight. That seemed to come out of nowhere and made no sense. Also, Scott Pilgrim in the book is not Michael Cera. Scott Pilgrim in the book is actually kind of a dick. Michael Cera was less of a dick, but kind of boring.

My husband and I have discussed this and determined that we are, in theory, the target audience for Scott Pilgrim. When the book was published, both Scott Pilgrim and I were 22. I should know all the same stuff he does. So then why did I feel like half the references were thrown in just because I should know them and not because they were funny? I shrugged at the pee bar. I’m not sure how the words subspace highway led to Mario 2. I can’t figure out what kind of a geek Ramona was. She didn’t seem to be any. Our theater seemed to laugh at a lot of stuff. I didn’t. Neither did my husband. I can’t remember what most of those things were, but I know I raised a few eyebrows.

As for the romantic comedy part of it. Nothing about Scott, Knives, or Ramona felt like geek love to me. He decided that he was in love with Ramona, and she decided that was okay. There was no bonding over geeky things. Scott and Knives played the fighting game together, but that was it. I felt nothing for the relationships between these characters. I didn’t care if Scott ended up with Ramona at the end. She was kind of annoying, and awfully fickle. Knives was nothing but annoying. I felt like there were no characters, just dolls, mostly flat paper dolls. The book, by the way, even worse. Scott is more annoying, less consistent, and awfully hard to care about.

All right. I will stop complaining for a minute. The fight scenes were fun. The evil exes were amusing, and the intertwining of the video game stuff within the fights was enjoyable. Of course, I didn’t really care if Scott won said fights, but still, interesting to watch. I think somewhere in there was a thing where Scott tried to find each ex’s weakness and use it against them. That was a nice thing. Although, I feel like even that was lost by the end. I can’t remember Gideon’s weakness, and that should have been the most important one.

So, I’ve probably just pissed off a lot of our readers. Sorry. Gotta tell you though, I have opinions and I speak my mind. I’m a die hard trekkie who avoids the Search for Spock, and I will never, never like Buffy (although the Xander and Anya show is not too bad, with a little Giles for good measure). However, I adore BSG and Stargate:SG1 and SGU (but not so much Atlantis). So, there, I have my opinions, and as for Scott Pilgrim they are thus: looked pretty, but pretty doesn’t make a good movie. Nothing I want to see again. I’ll keep my American Splendor as my favorite comic book movie, thanks.

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6 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Lisa M
    Aug 19, 2010 @ 11:09:05

    i can totally see how this could be that much of a problem for you. I really enjoyed the movie because i thought it was really fun, and i did laugh, a lot. BUt at the same time (despite my jokes on twitter about being bothered by Coke Zero product placement which wasn’t yet invented on my perceived time line) my biggest beef was also with hte relationship. I really didn’t get why i was supposed to be cheering for them to get together. i never really saw anything between them but awkwardness. I was sorta rooting for Knives to get the guy at the end, truth be told, and i guess apparently that was how the movie was actually going to end. But that’s because they took her character from annoying to awesome and independent. i left the movie liking, and having a lot more respect for, Knives. In fact she seemed really sexy by the end. She’s the only character that actually grew as far as i could discern. I should probably just read the books and STFU about it 🙂
    But really, i did enjoy a lot of the game jokes and i did laugh a lot having a great time watching the movie. It’s interesting that we were able to have such different experiences despite having identified the same major flaw in the movie.

    Reply

    • GirlsAreGeeks
      Aug 19, 2010 @ 11:17:55

      Yeah, I was thinking Knives and Scott should have stayed together at the end! Nice to know I’m not the only one with problems. There’s just so much, “it was perfect” out there, I had to dissent.

      Rosalind

      Reply

  2. Kristi Duggins
    Aug 19, 2010 @ 11:34:31

    Great post! I haven’t seen or read Scott Pilgrim, nor do I want to!

    I’m a sci-fi geek; *so* not a gamer-geek. I love Joss Whedon, but the thought of watching Buffy makes me cringe. We all have our own special type geek repertoire. It sounds like that movie was made by someone who had no idea that you can’t just shove them all together!

    Reply

  3. Ruth
    Aug 19, 2010 @ 16:30:52

    I’m kinda glad someone didn’t & articulated why. I’m reading the comic books, which were a present from a friend, and I like them but am not really sure that I’d want to see a movie version with Michael Cera as Scott. I see Scott as a different kind of character.

    Reply

  4. Jonathan Liu
    Aug 19, 2010 @ 17:08:39

    I really enjoyed the movie, but only started reading the books afterward (and I agree, Michael Cera is not the actor who comes to mind when I read the book). But I’m also a fan of Cera (though I haven’t seen Superbad) so I wasn’t annoyed by him, personally.
    I agree that the characters seemed pretty two-dimensional and you didn’t get a whole lot of why Scott was in love with Ramona (or why she would care for him at all); then again, they compressed six books into a single film, and from what I’ve seen in the comics there’s not a ton of character development, more of quick-cuts to action and lots of weirdness. But it’s a brand of weirdness that I happen to like.
    Frankly, I think the comments I’ve seen from reviewers that people over 20 aren’t going to get this movie are off by a couple decades. Even though Scott’s 23 when the book begins, I think this is really for my generation (I’m 34 now), or at least the movie is. The movie is for people who grew up with 8-bit games, Street Fighter and River City Ransom, strange games that had a little bit of a story but mostly you went around and got in fights (and then picked up coins after you defeated people).
    Anyway, everyone is entitled to geek out about different things. There are a whole lot of things that are considered quintessentially geeky that I’ve never done or don’t like, and that’s fine by me. But I do like to give everything a fair shot at least.

    Reply

  5. Eleni
    Aug 19, 2010 @ 19:02:57

    Turns out most critics liked it. Its Rotten Tomatoes score is 81%, which is relatively high.

    I liked the movie a lot. I thought it was very funny and clever and sweet. I understand that the Scott of the comics isn’t much like how Michael Cera plays him (though I haven’t read the comics myself), but I think Michael Cera is really funny and endearing, so I didn’t mind. He’s playing the same kind of awkward-sweet character he’s played since Arrested Development, but I like that character. And this one can fight. It was out of nowhere, but I just assumed this was a kind of world where everyone can fight like video game characters (maybe I misinterpreted that). I was very entertained by the fight scenes, and I thought a lot of the dialogue was witty and the comic timing was excellent.

    I guess everyone likes different kinds of humor. Like, I thought The Hangover was extremely unfunny, and I just can’t understand why so many people thought it was funny and it made so much money. And the trailer for the next Jackass movie played beforehand, and the audience was all laughing, but I wasn’t at all. Anyway, I thought Scott Pilgrim was hilarious. A couple of the moments that really tickled me (if you were trying to remember when the audience laughed): When Knives shows up at Scott’s apartment, his roommate answers the door, and when she asks if Scott is in Scott dives out the window and the roommate says “He just left.” I guess it was in one of the trailers, so for people who already knew it was coming it was less funny (I hadn’t seen that trailer). Another moment was when Scott was at the party, and asked the guy who “knows everybody” if he knew a girl “with hair like this” and held up the scribbled drawing, and the guy says, “Sure, Ramona Flowers.” I guess if you find it funny, then it’s funny, if you don’t, then it’s not. That’s the trouble with comedy.

    Reply

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