The Worst Person in the World

The Worst Person in the World ★★★★★

“Yes, I do love you. But I also don’t.”

The Worst Person in the World is being marketed as a “refreshing rom-com,” but be warned: refreshing feels like it conjures the wrong expectations. While this film does have its rom-com tropes and scenarios, Joachim Trier’s latest will take you on an emotional rollercoaster 🎢 with a truly killer Act III. Hang on tight. But I promise you, it’s worth it. 

This was my second time watching the film, and I was just as enchanted this go-around. The first time I watched was at the New York Film Festival, and I was fortunate to catch it again at the MoMA with another Q&A with Joachim Trier and star Renate Reinsve. I could listen to them talk about the creative process all day. There’s something so creatively inspiring and stimulating emanating from this film in particular, at least to me.

There are threads that connect Trier’s filmography so far, as most of his films dive into this idea of being a spectator of your own life — of being “lost.” And also about balancing your personal ambitions & passions with your most intimate relationships, and what’s sacrificed when you go all-in on one. It’s relatable to me, and I’d imagine for most people, especially on this pesky lil website. Trier’s tackled these ideas in Louder Than Bombs and the rest of the Oslo Trilogy: Reprise and Oslo, August 31st

Those films have a charm of their own, but certainly wallow in that signature Scandinavian seriousness and sadness (though there are moments of lightness in them, too, don’t get me wrong). What works in The Worst Person in the World’s favor, that could help it crossover better, and altogether just be a more enjoyable film experience, is its seamless genre blends. Like I said before, it’s been marketed as rom-com, but it naturally shifts to a surreal, dream-like trip as well as serious chamber drama. It’s versatile with the tricks up its sleeves, and that lends to a totally unique filmgoing experience. 

The movie shifts from laughs to Kleenex-face-wiping-mess in mere minutes. This film’s best watched with a crowd, as the themes expressed in it are certainly universal. You end up feeling a kinship with those who’ve experienced Julie’s odyssey with you. Can’t recommend it enough.

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