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Camp Reel Stories Reviews: Comet (2014) Directed by Sam Esmail

I [Fiona] love this movie. A lot. “Over the course of six years – and possibly in parallel universes – Kimberley and Dell try to overcome their differences and build a lasting romance” is how Netflix sums it up. And it got about a 50% on rotten tomatoes… so on the outside, this is one of those movies that could very much so go either way.

Here we have a look into the relationship of two kids who so unconventionally meet (thankfully! Not often enough in movies are the lovers actually brought together in a believable and realistic way. We are off to a great start.) And la de da and they fall in love. Cool, right? Everyone likes that, right? Yeah. But why is this love story so much better than all the rest? Well, I’m here to break it down for you.

Comet aims to capture the way youthful and modern relationships happen, and de-happen.  It strikes you with honesty, feeling less fabricated than so many films out there that focus on the same topic. From the way that the film jumps from scene to scene as your own memories of such a relationship would, to varying moods, colors, and emotions seen and felt as the story unfolds… it really appealed to my mind and won over my heart.

First of all, by the way, this movie is clever as hell. You know that little 15 minutes of a chance you have to give a movie before you mentally commit to watching it? This passed that test in half the time. But maybe that’s just because I live for witty banter. That happens when you watch too much Gilmore Girls as an eight year old.

Often love seen on the big screen can seem stagnant, and just utterly out of touch with reality. Well, if this movie does anything, it paints a pretty picture of how unintentionally sad and ugly something as beautiful as love can get.

The beginning, the middle, and the end jumble in this movie so confusingly that the only thing one can do is sit back and watch entirely different couples inhabit these two characters. The juxtaposition of Kim and Dell in different phases of their relationship is a truth so often overlooked in on screen relationships. Watching this movie felt like a breath of fresh air in relation to this, because the very real and wild and beautiful and nasty growth of the characters was entirely relatable in a way that isn’t at all depicted in every love story. It’s a film you should watch after you and your first love have called it quits. It’s one of those. It does a good job paralleling the reality of the modern relationship, when so many films run perpendicular to that.

Third, the characters are fresh out of real life. You can’t help but be reminded of someone you know by them. Dell comes off a little too witty and a little too cynical as he appears in the beginning, as his youngest. He is utterly eye roll-able. We all know that guy. And if you don’t… give it a couple years. Kimberly premieres in the film as the young woman who dwells or once dwelled in many of us young women: Slightly jumpy, playing it cool, full of promise. They change a lot as the film continues. But they stay severely true, as does the film itself.

So that’s why I adore this movie, and always will. It boasts the truth that comes with any relationship: both members can only be who they are, and it either works or it doesn’t. There are no simple happy endings, regardless of what we were told happened to Cinderella!