Comet – A cosmically surreal love story that works
Written and directed by: Sam Esmail
Starring: Justin Long, Emmy Rossum, and Kayla Servi
Dell (Long) and Kimberly (Rossum) are two 20 somethings who are both a bit disenchanted with romantic endeavors. They meet while waiting in line at a celestial viewing party in Los Angeles, where Kimberly saves Dell’s life by shoving him out of the way of a speeding car. Before we see how the rest of that evening unfolds, we are teleported to a distant future, where their relationship is strained and the things that attracted them to each other originally (Dell’s witty pessimism and Kimberly’s free spirited “Live in the moment” attitude) have now become the wedge between them.
You can definitely see that Esmail’s film is influenced by other such non-linear, slightly surreal romantic tragedies like “500 Days of Summer” and “Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind”. “Comet” stands on it’s own though, as Esmail does a brilliant job at bouncing the movie off the walls of time and space, but never losing the viewer or their interest in the characters. It is really quite impressive to watch.
Long steps somewhat away from his usual nice, likable guy and really commits to the razor sharp intellectual with no filter whatsoever. He manages to balance being charming while also oblivious to the feelings of everyone around him. Rossum really impresses here, and after “Before I Disappear” and now “Comet” it seems like she is really coming into her own as not just a lead actress, but an emerging star. Much like Kate Winslet in “Eternal Sunshine” she is clever and adorable but with a hint of melancholy right beneath the surface that makes her seem fragile and in turn causes the audience to care more for her.
Admittedly, love stories (of any kind) are not usually my cup of tea. Once in a while though, one comes along and hits just the right notes and blends all the right ingredients. “Comet” is one of those.