THE tale of boy-meets-girl is one of the most overused narratives that can be found in many different forms of media. As with most narratives, there have always been attempts at new ways of telling the story. The best versions of this tale are usually where an attempt is made to diverge from the typical narrative traits and a new take on the story can be found. SCOTT PILGRIM VS. THE WORLD (Edgar Wright 2010) is an excellent example that takes the simple boy-meets-girl idea and fills it with what can only be described as complete and utter lunacy.
Based on a graphic novel series by Bryan Lee O’Malley, the film follows 23-year-old Scott Pilgrim (Michael Cera) a bass guitarist in a band called "Sex Bob-Omb" who, after having his heart broken by his now ex-girlfriend Envy Adams (Brie Larson), has found himself dating Knives Chau (Ellen Wong), a 17-year-old high school girl. This is all fairly normal, until Scott comes across Ramona Flowers (Mary Elizabeth Winstead), first in a dream but then he discovers she also exists in real life. Scott begins to obsess over Ramona and decides to make it his goal to be with her. This could easily lead into your conventional boy-meets-girl story if it was not for the fact Scott soon learns that to be with Ramona he must fight and defeat her seven evil exes.
This is where the deadly sin of envy begins to emerge. Envy is not out of place in tales of romance and love since there are many ways envy can take shape. However, it is certainly unusual to have a league of seven evil exes who are all envious of just one man and, fuelled by their own envy, they are willing to use everything in their power to stop Scott from being with Ramona. This mention of power is not just for effect. Ramona’s third evil ex Todd Ingram (Brandon Routh) has "vegan powers", which grant him telekinetic abilities.
While this might sound absolutely ridiculous, it will all begin to make sense when you watch the film. One of the best things about this envy-filled boy-meets-girl story are its moments of sincerity. In tackling relationships, love, envy, betrayal, and even the battle to understanding self-respect, it is a reminder that love should never begin or end with someone being hurt as it will never work out well for anyone involved. It may be a crazy film but isn't falling in love just as crazy?
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