For almost a quarter century my favourite movie was Ferris Bueller’s Day Off. I’ve watched it somewhere in the region of a hundred times, and I’ve never gotten sick of it. It helps that it’s a John Hughes movie, I’m a die-hard Hughes fan. It also helps that it has a young Jennifer Grey as Ferris’ sister, and an even younger Mia Sara in it as the hero’s girlfriend. Suffice to say that particular movie led to quite a few…interesting dreams in my teen years.
So after almost twenty-five years it obviously had to take something special to knock Matthew Broderick off the top spot. Let me set a scene for you.
The location is the living room of my best male friend. It’s a party, and your heroine is lounging on an exquisitely comfortable couch watching a movie. Around me are my partner, my BMF’s kitten (humanoid variety of course), and some friends old and new. There are munchables to be eaten, and on the screen is a truly wonderful movie. Since last Summer my new favourite movie of all time, Scott Pilgrim Vs The World.
Now I know people who adore this movie beyond anything sane. I also know people who loathe it. It’s a true Marmite movie. But for my money it’s by far the best action comedy I’ve ever seen. It even beats Hot Fuzz, and when we’re talking Simon Pegg movies, that takes a lot of doing. So what makes it so wonderful?
Let’s start with one concept. It makes Canada cool. And we’re not just talking cold here, but genuinely cool, the location where all that is awesome in the world collides. I never really thought about Canada before seeing SPvsTW. I mean to me it’s the place the original, and best Captain Kirk comes from. Oh and they have some very entertaining hockey riots, when their own team wins. It’s a geographic location. Then Scott Pilgrim arrives on our screens and damn I have to get to Canada. See some of those locations in reality. Soak up some of that Canadian culture. Crack on to a hipster chick with purple hair. You know all the fun stuff.
So it makes Canada awesome what else? Well how about a movie where all the characters, barring two are total and utterly dicks. And those two are a the female band member who exists only to make snarky comments, and the very sweet, somewhat homicidal 17-year-old chinese girl. Yup, everyone else is as self-centred as a spinning-top, and somewhat dickish. But here’s the key thing, you still like them all. Now that takes some serious writing ability to pull off.
The two main characters, who are Scott Pilgrim and Ramona Flowers, are actually rather unpleasant when you look at them in certain ways. Scott is a waster in his 20’s, with a “pity me” attitude which if I knew him in reality would result in his ass being kicked so hard he would end up wearing his testicles as a bowtie. While Ramona is gorgeous to look at, and sexy as hell to listen to, she has a history of messing her partners around that would put her high on any towns “do not date if there are sheep available” list. But you still find yourself liking them. They’re flawed, frustratingly so, but it makes them real, approachable in a way very few movie characters in action films ever are.
Oh and speaking of action films, those eagle-eyed viewers may recognise Ramona (Mary Elisabeth Winstead) as John McClane’s daughter in Die Hard 4.
The story is a classic. Boy has girl, boy meets other girl, boy dicks first girl around, dumps her, and then has to fight second girls seven evil exes. There’s a few sub-stories in there, one literally sub but we’ll get to that shortly, but they’re mostly filler to get the viewer from one fight to another.
Speaking of the fights, each of them is a highlight in its own right. From the first with the Bollywood dancing, complete with demonic hipster chick backing dancers. To the girl on (sort of) girl fourth fight, which incidentally has my single favourite knockout blow ever. To the sheer joy that is the final fight of the movie, complete with huge swords, the action in this movie has to be seen. Each fight is imaginatively done, usually ending in the last way you would ever expect. Just wonderful.
So I mentioned a sub story a paragraph ago. Well it leads to something that makes this movie extra special for me. Towards the end of the viewing, my BMF’s Kitten scritched my arm to get my attention and commented on knowing now why I adore SPvsTW so much. On the screen Ramona was sitting on the top step of a raised platform, while the chief villain of the movie sits in a throne behind her.
Yup, that’s what makes this a really special movie for me. The villain has this incredible ass kicking woman in a submissive position (he has a way of getting into her head), he even makes a point of treating her like his property in front of the besotted Scott. She’s stunningly beautiful, sitting in a position that to me is a true expression of the joy of belonging to someone in a BDSM sense, but she looks desperately unhappy. And Scott saves her.
Yes dear reader, that’s what it took to knock Ferris Bueller off my personal top spot. A sort of submissive being saved, violently, and rather hilariously from the clutches of a dickhead dominant. I guess I’m just a romantic Domina at heart.
So why should you watch this movie, if you haven’t already? Well the jokes are either blunt instruments, or so subtle you sometimes wonder if they were jokes. The dialogue is sharp, quick, and satisfying. The locations are beautiful. The casting is flawless. The story is interesting. The soundtrack is never less than excellent. But for my money the number one reason to see this movie is to join Sex-Ba-Bomb in watching Scott kick Gideon’s ass while he saves Ramona.
Now my only question is where in the hell do I find a Ramona of my own?