Why I Hate Scott Pilgrim

I slept hard last night.

Backing up. When Will put Sam to bed, he called me in to listen to Grace’s breathing. She was making a strange sound, like panicked swallowing. When I put my head on her chest to listen, the noise stopped and she relaxed. A bad dream, maybe? She often cries out in her sleep. I do not know how to keep her safe from her imagination.

I dreamed that we were escaping. I don’t know what from. Will and I found the room where Grace was and I had to get her out while he went looking for Sam. We met in the woods after I woke up enough to hug Grace tighter. I don’t remember much of the dream–it seemed linear while I was in it, but of course it wasn’t. I know we practiced our shooting (bow) skills behind the house of some rich guy who pretended not to be home. I know we were terrified.

This morning I indulged Grace by allowing her to watch Brave despite a TV-during-the-week ban. I came upstairs to check out for a few minutes and discovered that Valerie, one of my long-time internet acquaintances, has died. It is all so fucking unfair (she had an unexplained reaction to medication, medication that I assume was supposed to be KEEPING HER ALIVE AND/OR SANE) and I can’t even think about it.

So I am going to talk about Scott Pilgrim and how much I hate that little shit.

I should first say that I have never read the comic book, so this is all based solely on the movie, which I have seen twice. And I also want to preface all of this by saying that I think the movie is incredibly well-made, possibly the best comic book movie of all time. It’s just that the story sucks almost as badly as the characters, 99% of whom are utterly unredeemable jerks.

Actually, Scott is the only unredeemable jerk. Everyone else exists simply to either feel or deliver pain. Scott is immature and selfish, with literally no concept of the fact that his actions effect anyone but himself. He treats everyone like shit and nonetheless feels entitled to whine about how hard everything is.

Ramona Flowers is totally someone I would have dated as a teenager. In fact, she reminds me of Mara, my not-quite-girlfriend for most of my teens. But she exists solely as the manic pixie literally-dream-girl of Scott’s fantasies and since he has no idea who she really is, her character is not explored in any greater depth.

As I said, the filmmaking is outstanding, but despite the fast pacing the movie just goes on for too long–and yet the story feels too condensed. This may be the most obvious thing I have ever written, but some stories are better suited to one medium than another. Because of my extreme distaste for the movie, it’s doubtful that I will ever read the comic, but I suspect I would enjoy it much more.

Interestingly, I think that the movie miiiiiight have won me over if the studio had not insisted on the theatrical ending. (SPOILERS AHEAD.) I realize that version has Scott ending up with the same girl he ends up with in the comic, but in the movie it is Knives he should be with (though he does not deserve her), and the alternate/original ending of the movie is just perfect. Ramona is his dream girl, not a real person (to Scott, that is–it’s not like she is imaginary) (probably), so of course she does not stay.

I don’t have an ending for this post. I thought talking about the ending of the movie was a logical place to end, but Will says it’s abrupt and unsatisfying. (Hmmm.)

6 thoughts on “Why I Hate Scott Pilgrim

  1. Lucas

    January 25, 2013 at 2:42pm

    Comic is better. EVeryone is more developed, Ramona is more than just a dream girl, and while Scott’s actions are presented (like in the film) as heroic, he gets a reality check that he is actually a dick around book 4 (and explained nicely in-story).
    Lucas´s last post ..Mini-Episode: Spiced Rhubarb Jalousies

  2. BaronessHeather

    January 25, 2013 at 2:45pm

    I liked the books, but thought the movie didn’t do justice to the story. Because of the crammed-in nature of the movie, you don’t get to see a lot of things like other facets to characters’ personalities. I thought the story would’ve been better served by a mini-series, or at least by more than one movie. I wouldn’t call the eponymous character a shining example of what a guy should be in the books, but in said books, he’s a bit more real, and his friends call him on it when he’s a jerk. Knives is also WAY different.

  3. BaronessHeather

    January 25, 2013 at 2:46pm

    (also, I’m so sorry about your friend. I debated whether to say anything since you said you don’t want to think about it, but I can’t just heartlessly shove that bit of info aside to wax on about comic books. Sending many virtual hugs your way.)

  4. Katherine

    January 25, 2013 at 4:12pm

    Echoing what Lucas said about the comics, but also wanted to praise the casting in the movie. I loved the casting.

    I understand WHY they ended the movie the way they did, but if the movie was going to stand on it’s own, it was the WRONG ending. Especially given how much they changed Knives in the movie.

    Also, it needed more Kim (the drummer).
    Katherine´s last post ..My Favorite Xmas Carol?

  5. Amy

    January 25, 2013 at 11:11pm

    For the comics readers – do they still defeat the lesbian with sex?

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