My clash at Demonhead

Scott Pilgrim Scott Pilgrim: 23 years old. Rating: Awesome.

When Scott Pilgrim and his precious little life migrated to our purple-mountained land from our neighbor to the north, I slept right through it. I was determined to make up for my lack of fandom once the movie gossip took flight. Michael Cera, you say? Mae Whitman of mayonegg fame? Her? What, is she funny or something? I read the books. I stalked the IMDB site. I developed a serious crush on half-ninja Roxy Richter. I did everything EXCEPT see the film when it hit theaters in August. Admittedly, it was a busy month for me, what with moving across the country and all. But still, I probably had two free hours in there somewhere.

The series consist of six books created by Canadian artist Bryan Lee O’Malley (who has since migrated south to these United States). The books follow Scott, who divides his time between doing nothing and playing music with his band Sex Bob-omb. Scott falls for recent Toronto transplant, Ramona Flowers (she’s American!). Ramona delivers packages on roller blades, has bad ass hair, and a slew of evil exes. [Note: evil exes, not evil ex-boyfriends, Scott.] The books spawned the film, and also, appropriately, a video game.

My love of the Scott Pilgrim series and film surprised me for a few reasons: One. Scott is not particularly likable. My roommate and I talked about it, so I know it’s not just me hating on the dude. He’s clueless and kind of a screw up. It’s endearing if you have a soft spot for disappointment, and like to be the one who pays for everything. Every. Time. Two. I’ve never been smitten with action-adventure comics. Hold on to your tomatoes and stones, people, I am working on broadening my horizons. Three. I never thought I could enjoy a book riffing on the video game format. Much like porn, you’re not playing Call of Duty for the story.

Though Scott Pilgrim definitely has powers, wins battles, and defeats villains, I am hesitant to group this book with superhero comics. For one, Scott isn’t protecting a city or group of people at large from general evil. He’s battling his girlfriend’s guild of evil exes so he can continue dating her. I found his general lack of greater purpose and priorities comforting. Scott didn’t make me feel like I needed to be a better person; he showed me all of the ways in which I do not need to improve at all. I watch Teen Mom for the same reason. Sometimes you need to see how messy your life could actually be and just relax.

Michael Cera

Michael Cera as Scott Pilgrim and Mary Elizabeth Winstead as Ramona Flowers

The live-action Scott Pilgrim, Michael Cera, is someone I have adored since the days of Arrested Development. However, by now even I must admit that he pretty much only plays one character. Think about it. Juno: lovesick, loveable, and clueless. Nick and Norah’s Infinite Playlist: lovesick, loveable, and clueless. I haven’t seen Paper Heart yet, but I’m going to go out on a limb here and guess lovesick, adorbs, and clueless. I like to think of it as “Adam Sandler Syndrome” or ASS. It’s not that I don’t like the characters he plays, it’s that I’m pretty sure he’s not playing a character at all. George Michael might be all grown up in the upcoming Arrested Development movie but he’s probably still clueless and in love with his cousin.

Here are some things I love about the Scott Pilgrim books and movie (spoiler alert: it’s NOT Ramona Flowers):

  1. Kim Pine’s sass (“Scott, if your life had a face, I would punch it. I would punch your life in the face.”)
  2. The very idea of a half ninja.
  3. Everything about Scott’s gay roommate Wallace Wells (Need I say more?)
  4. Knives Chau’s puns. (Yelled during an attack on Ramona: “Get ready to Chau down!”)
  5. Ramona’s goggles and mode of transport. (In no way does this signify a love for Ramona—that girl is selfish.)

For most people I know, life is planned for the first 20-something years: school, school, and more school. And then one day you wake up and college is over, the job offers aren’t rolling in, and you’re getting out of bed at the crack of noon every day, trapped and aimless, trying to decide between starving or moving back in with your parents. After college I looked for a job for a year before finding something worthwhile. That floating year was filled with countless hours at dead end jobs, too much time spent in pajamas, and a general feeling of hopelessness.

Power of Love

Scott Pilgrim levels up

Scott Pilgrim’s world so closely mirrors my own that I can’t help but like it. Scott’s in the same leaky boat as most recent college grads: jobless and vaguely depressed about an economy that tanked before he even got on board. He’s lost and lazy and spends his days hanging out with friends playing video games. Only when Scott’s not dragging his feet, he’s a slacker hero of sorts. He fends off evil exes and levels up. He punches guys through walls, defeats a half-ninja, and earns the power of love. He pulls a flaming sword. Out. Of. His. Chest.

Scott and his friends wax apathetic. It’s cool not to care, and the way to live your life is mostly to not live it. Squander days in bed. Wander without a destination. Work a dead-end job. Watch your bank accounts go negative. Get your heart completely busted by someone who was probably never worth your time in the first place. Spend months malnourished and heartbroken. Fall in love again suddenly and completely. Battle your enemies. Level up. Earn the power of love.

One Response to “My clash at Demonhead”
  1. Raebot says:

    If this article had a body, I would hug it. Awesome job, Lindsbot!

%d bloggers like this: