I’m gonna have to. Let me assure you that otherwise, the film is epically awesome and awesomely epic but I really got bugged by this which I put under the cut.
Some of you may have seen Pretty in Pink starring Molly Ringwald, James Spader and Andrew McCarthy. Molly’s character is great friends with Duckie (played by Jon Cryer) but she’s got a big crush on some preppy rich boy and Duckie is stuck hearing about it all the time.
The film’s original ending had Andie and Duckie winding up together, not Andie and Blane. Unfortunately, test audiences who saw this ending thought it would be a better movie the way it winds up ending now. John Hughes was also concerned that he’d send a bad message with the original – that rich kids should be with rich kids and poor kids should be with poor kids.
So the message he wound up giving a generation of girls instead was, never think you’d be happy in a relationship with your best guy friend if you can find someone you know little about beyond how rich and cute he is. What good advice.
What does this have to do with Scott Pilgrim vs. the World? Any girls who might identify with Knives and the bum deal she gets in this picture could come out of it with a similar message, and possibly an anti-interracial one besides.
Scott (Michael Cera) doesn’t know a hell of a lot about Ramona Flowers (Mary Elizabeth Winstead) except that she’s from New York, has seven exes to defeat and changes her hair colour every week and a half. Scott does know a lot about his girlfriend Knives (Ellen Wong); they do a lot of fun stuff together at the start of the film and clearly enjoy each other’s company. Once Scott gets distracted by and obsessed with Ramona and the very odd situation he’s found himself in, Knives gets shoved to the side as unimportant and largely forgettable — until it becomes evident that she’s willing to fight beside Scott whether he wants her or not. She is the bigger person here, no matter how much we may be rooting for Scott to win against these exes and get the new girl.
We don’t even get much sense that Ramona has a personality at all. Not to the same extent that’s revealed in Knives at least. We see how sweet and caring she is, and how big a fan she is of Scott’s band, and we see her jealous when their relationship falters. Ramona is just the object of obsessed desire who exists as the reason seven people want Scott dead. Oh, and Scott might get to have sex with her.
What the hell did seven exes even see in Ramona to make her worth fighting over? Maybe the graphic books do a better job of making her a human being worth wanting to date but I think the film missed the mark completely. She comes across only as an obsession, a possession. Even she doesn’t seem to mind being that, either. Even if she’s sorry she’s hurt these people, there seems to be little evidence of remorse, or much in the way of guilt that she’s now put Scott in this stupid situation. And Scott does a lot more apologizing for his past behaviour than she does, and he has far less to apologize for.
I dunno. Thoughts? Agree or disagree? Am I being too hard on something designed to be fluffy and fun, or are these questions we should be willing to ask of any film in any genre?