Betsy Sharkey's film pick of the week: 'Scott Pilgrim vs. the World'
When I heard that "Scott Pilgrim vs. the World" had girl problems, naturally I thought, "Oh right, Michael Cera as Scott has trouble with girlfriends new and old, young and old, just about every configuration you can imagine." But no, the film has girl problems -- as in they will not go see it.
I was mystified. Loved the film, and I’m a girl. Took my daughter, also a girl, to see it. She loved it even more. So for those bothered and bewildered about "Scott's" appeal, here are some reasons for the femmes to check it out.
1. Ramona Flowers: The chick (Mary Elizabeth Winstead) everyone’s fighting over is retro-cool, with dudes going for mind over matter. How often do you see that in a fanboy film based on a comic book series?
2. Knives Chau: Sure, as Scott’s 17-year-old girlfriend, she (Ellen Wong) can be a little needy. But hey, she is only 17, and when Ramona skates into the picture, literally, Knives makes some mature adjustments and then goes on to kick some serious ... well, you get the picture.
3. The dialogue is totally smart girl: And the guys mostly listen. And there are a lot of girls doing a lot of talking: Scott's hard-rocking ex Envy Adams (Brie Larson); Alison Pill as the amazing drummer Kim (and another Scott ex) in his band, Sex Bob-Omb!; Stacey, the always spot-on Anna Kendrick, as Scott's smarter younger sister.
4. Director Edgar Wright: The manic mind behind the London zombie scene in "Shaun of the Dead" has gone crazy here, in a good way, packing the film with a lot of action, yes, but also a ton of social-networking and video game satire. And as far as Ramona's seven evil exes that Scott must defeat before they can seriously consider dating seriously, Wright has great fun mocking a lot of genres before he's finished.
5. It’s really a date movie disguised as a comic book flick: So it’s a snap to get your guy to take you. Shhh ... I won't tell if you won't.
-- Betsy Sharkey, Los Angeles Times film critic
Photo: Ramona (Mary Elizabeth Winstead) is shadowed by Scott Pilgrim (Michael Cera) in "Scott Pilgrim vs. the World." Credit: Universal Pictures