Beyond Fright Review: COMET

COMETWe’ve all been there, crossing paths with someone who is able to completely take you back and keep you enthralled just at the idea of spending more time talking to them. That awkward feeling in your stomach and the adrenaline-filled, almost child-like excitement that makes you think or at least hope that you’ll be able to spend many moments like the one you’re experiencing. Chances are, if you’ve felt that and experienced that, you’ve also experienced the pain of things just not working out, further down the road. The change of personalities, the little things you once thought were adorable leading to the time in which you now find them annoying and hard to tolerate. It’s a sad and unfortunate part of life and of love, and without a single ounce of pretension or sappy cliches, these transitions are what make up Sam Esmail’s COMET, a film that is quite easily the most honest portrayal of a relationship’s changes throughout the years, and how you can want to spend forever with someone and come to the hard realization that they just don’t feel the same.

Told in a very non-linear fashion, COMET jumps between multiple timelines, which can be frustrating with other films, but works perfectly for this one. Meeting for the first time at a viewing of a meteor shower held at the Hollywood Forever Cemetery (something that made me smile, having spent many nights going to events there), Del (Justin Long, DRAG ME TO HELL, TUSK), a cynical person who speaks much too fast to realize that he might be saying the wrong thing A LOT, runs into Kimberly (Emmy Rossum, Shameless, BEFORE I DISAPPEAR), an intelligent and witty woman who just happens to be on a date with a guy who instantly rubs Del the wrong way. Without caring about her date whatsoever, Del strikes up a conversation with Kimberly, and throughout the night, the two hit it off, and that butterfly-filled moment of a first night with someone that you’re smitten with is played out.

We’re then given multiple timelines of the young couple’s relationship blossoming, and unfortunately withering. We’re led through the good times, the smiles and the moments that are typically the ones that we as people hold onto when things go south and we refuse to accept the reality: that sometimes, people change and that the actions of not only ourselves but those of the ones we love, can leave repercussions that lead to places and roads in life that we might not have wanted them to lead to.

What sets COMET apart from the countless other “realistic” relationship films coming out these days, is that while it shows the deterioration of the relationship, it never once feels cynical of jaded.  There’s a realism to every single time period on Del and Kimberly’s relationship, times full of wonder and the future being wide open, and the the times where you want to yell at the person with everything you have. While films like BLUE VALENTINE (which is great by the way) end with very realistically depressing conclusions, the one in COMET decides to end in a very melancholic, bittersweet way, and with the journey we take with Del and Kimberly, it’s an ending that we’ll not only remember but will find ourselves in.  There’s a sense of magic to COMET, a film that causes you to remember going through the same situations in your own life, the times that were filled with wonder and the times where you felt yourself holding onto to something that would be better for you to just let go of. It’s a film that feels authentic, and succeeds in telling a very entertaining story of two people and the tumultuous years of their relationship.

Esmail’s visual style of directing, paired with two VERY good performances, courtesy of Long and Rossum, pushes COMET far away from any other film of its kind. It gives you as a viewer something you can enjoy and relate to, finding pieces of yourself in it, all while being completely engrossed with the story playing out in front you.

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