Manic Pixie Dream Film

Dear Reader,

I have a movie that I hold near and dear to my heart and I bet you’ve never heard of it. For some reason, I have the uncanny ability of loving unpopular or obscure things. For example, when I was a teen, I was obsessed with the 2006 “Superman Returns” movie and watched it upwards of 40 times. This was the movie starring Brandon Routh, a one-term superman, and the film received reviews with titles such as “Superman Returns: What Went Wrong?” and “Atlas Yawned.” Similarly, when it comes to foreign-language music (which helps me supplement my language learning), I tend to gravitate away from today’s hits and become attached to, for example, “Schlager Kulthits der 70-er” (German 70’s hit pop songs) and Cossack songs (folk songs from the Cossack people in Russia).

My very favorite movie is perfect for me, but apparently, it’s not everyone’s cup of tea. According to Wikipedia, Rotten Tomatoes awards the film a score of 41% based on reviews from 29 critics. And guess how much it made at the box office… drum roll please… a whopping $6,673. The film is criticized as being “overly-ambitious” and “confusing.” I agree that it is ambitious and confusing, however, to me that just means that it warrants more than one view. In fact, the first time I saw the film, I was confused but intrigued. Intrigued enough, that I decided to give the film another view. Upon watching it a second time, everything clicked. Then, watching it a third time and fourth time, I was able to appreciate it for all of its nuances and details. This movie simply is not for the casual viewer, as not everything can be fully understood and appreciated on the first go around.

If I could make one edit to the film, it would be simple — I would have it never end. I would play it on a loop. The beginning and ending are seamless, and when it actually ends, I feel like we were just getting started. Aside from the people who worked on this film, I’m honestly not quite sure that anyone else in the world loves this film more than I do.

“What is this movie even called?” you ask. Plain and simple, it’s called “Comet.” The name is so simple that if you want to Google it, you are better off typing in “Comet 2014 film” to get the right results. The movie, written and directed by Sam Esmail, stars Justin Long, Emmy Rossum, and no one else really. It’s an indie film centered around the relationship between two characters, Dell, the I-can’t-enjoy-the-moment-because-everything-could-end-five-minutes-from-now pessimist, and Kimberly, the I-wish-life-were-like-a-painting-so-I-can-pick-and-choose-when-things-happen love interest. I hate the word “chemistry” when it is applied to romance, but the movie is a showcase of the “chemistry” between Dell and Kimberly at the most intense moments of their six-year “relationship.”

What is so beautiful about this movie? The dialogue for one. Dell and Kimberley speak more like words on a page than actual people (kind of like the way the characters speak in the TV melodrama “Dawson’s Creek”). The visuals are also stunning. The hues of the sky, the lighting at the cemetery, and the darkness of the hotel room in Paris are no accident. The sounds outside of the dialogue are also so engaging. The rumble of the train, the shattering of glass, the thwack of a bird hitting the windshield are well timed with the cadence of the action. The movie for me is like a lullaby or a dream or both at the same time. I am just hopelessly obsessed.

I honestly did not know that it was possible to love a movie so much. As a child, sure, I watched things on repeat, but as an adult, I did not know that that joy within me still existed. It has been about five years since I first saw this film on Netflix and it still brings me pleasure. As I write about it now, I really am tempted to set up a solo movie date for myself. I do mean a solo movie date, because as I mentioned earlier, this movie is just not a fan favorite. This movie is all talk, no action — a rarity in film nowadays, but also, my treasure.

If this movie doesn’t sound like it’s for you — don’t bother watching it. If you find the concept of the movie appealing, don’t watch it once, but twice 🙂



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