The Worst Person in the World, the next Shuswap Film Society movie, is from Norway and is billed as an anti-romcom. It’s an intense character study of a young woman’s quest for love and meaning in the modern world and reminds us that life and love can be a chaotic and messy process of elimination.
At 29, Julie has already made several big changes romantically on her career path by the time we drop into her life. She’s gone from studying medicine to psychology to photography, left a serious boyfriend, taken up with another man and had some flings. Life-altering changes are among the few constants in her life as she struggles to commit to anything or anyone. On the one hand we admire her for continuously trying to discover more about herself and what she truly wants; on the other, she frustrates the heck out of us. There is sometimes a temptation to yell at the screen, “Don’t do it!” But maybe we all needed someone to say that to us at some point in our lives.
Renate Reinsve, who won Best Actress at Cannes for this role, gives a breakout performance as Julie and the mass of contradictions that she is. She has a comfortable but contained life with Aksel, a comic book artist in his mid-40’s. Then at a party she meets Eivind and is reminded that there is a big world and interesting strangers out there. Pulled between the two men, she is unable to fully commit to or find contentment with either.
The Worst Person In The World is about how we evolve by our choices and experiences, be they good or bad. The movie makes clever and insightful observations on things ranging from the modern dating world to hot-button topics such as infidelity, relationship dynamics, societal expectations, motherhood and social media obsessions. A welcome and refreshing take on the romantic comedy, it is surprisingly touching, heartfelt and emotional.
The Worst Person in the World plays at the Salmar Classic Saturday, March 12 at 5 and 7:30 p.m.
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