I am not a fan of love-themed movies. I like a rom-com every now and then but you can’t get me to watch something that’s full-blown romance.
I also didn’t like talky films, until I watched Birdman. I like witty dialogues but too much lines confuse my brain. But Birdman kinda changed that, which is why I gave Comet, Sam Esmail’s recent flick, a shot.
It was good that I came into the movie house not expecting anything because I came out satisfied. Comet was a fresh take on a romantic movie (at least where I am concerned) because of its execution.
The film is about an unlikely couple, Dell (Justin Long) and Kimberly (Emmy Rossum), who met during a meteor shower. Kimberly saves Dell from getting hit by a car. They talked. Ignored each other. Bumped into one another. And talked a lot more. What followed was a series of events that showed the two breaking up, getting back together, and talking—a lot.
The story was not astounding. There’s no twist or a shocking event that would alter the course of the characters’ lives. It was just their love story. But somehow, despite the seemingly boring plot, the movie is both engaging and riveting.
Part of it could be due to the manner of storytelling. The scenes jump to different times in the couple’s 6-year relationship. It would’ve been annoying but the way the scenes were connected (or disconnected) with each other, regardless of chronology, further added to the movie’s appeal.
More importantly, it helped make the story clearer. Each time-jump that happened brought us new insight on what Dell and Kimberly is going through, therefore, helping us better understand what their next decisions would be. Even the mundane scene has something to bring to the table.
It’s quite impressive how this style helped make the story easier to digest.
Long and Rossum has a tangible chemistry that makes each scene very believable. For once, I can take Long seriously. And you can’t help but feel for him when he desperately tries to win back his love.
It was nice that the film ended the way it did. It gave viewers a chance to believe what they want to happen to Dell and Kimberly. As for me, I think they didn’t end up together. That Dell was able to get that kiss but Kimberly ultimately decided to push through with her engagement.
So what is the takeaway?
For me, Comet is more than the telling of how two different people can be so right for each other. It’s also a gentle reminder to us to take a look at how we approach life.
Dell and Kimberly represent all of us. The one who constantly worry about the future and those who live for the moment.
Dell is often paralyzed by his fear of events that are going to happen five minutes from now. This ultimately deprived him of a chance to finally have the life he wanted. Although he realized the error of his ways, it was too late to do anything about it.
He wants happiness but he retreats to his shell when the moment requires him to take a risk. He refuses to stray from the sidewalk, fearful of getting ran over.
He was the complete opposite of Kimberly who lives in the moment. She makes decision based on what she feels right now and that makes her the happier person. She embodies the ideal way to live an exciting life–a life that’s not boring because you don’t know what’s going to happen next.
And I guess, that’s one of the best things to take away from the movie.
Don’t always aspire to know what’s coming. Enjoy the uncertainty. To be alive means to not know.
Comet is, surprisingly, a really good movie. It’s unconventional and doesn’t contain all the elements required from a traditionally awesome film. But it has just the right amount of elements that make it really nice to watch.
As one of the dialogues goes, “it doesn’t have to look good on paper to feel good.”
That perfectly sums up Sam Esmail’s movie.
Featured image by Cromeyellow.com