The Worst Person in the World

The Worst Person in the World ★★★★½

The central character, Julie, remarks to a character about half-way through that she feels like an observer in her own story, at which point the film's narrator returns for the first time since the film's prologue to simply relay what is happening onscreen for the protagonist. Sure, the narration fills us in on little tidbits that aren't so easily perceptible (as any good narration would), but the narration in this particular moment, not long after playfully introducing us to the wide-eyed protagonist in its opening moments with its montage and its upbeat musical soundtrack, grounds itself in relaying the personal struggles that Julie will encounter as the narrative heads into its second act. Her existential fears as she enters 30 are explicitly acknowledged as she tries to maintain control over her own personal narrative that isn't as clearly refined.

Julie is entirely justified in her fear that her story isn't entirely hers. After spending the majority of her young adult life caught up in the mess that is trying to figure out just what the hell you *want* to do with your life, she now has to grapple with what others think she *should* do with her life. It doesn't help that Julie is still stuck in the rut of not realizing her full potential that we naively think could come so naturally as we embrace adulthood. It *certainly* doesn't help that her own intimate world is so easily closing in on itself much faster than anticipated.

But really, Julie's concern that she is a supporting character in her own story is reflective of the fact that this isn't actually her story. This is OUR story, a mirror for us to reflect on uncertain change coupled with trying to make any sort of rewarding impact in the modern age.

The worst person in the world is the one we seem to create for ourselves. An antagonist that represents our fears that we won't make up for lost time and our fears that we haven't realized our own individual selves when major change happens. That our time to be selfish wasn't as exhilarating as we hoped it would be, and that now we have to come to grips with much grander responsibilities and much tougher but rewarding choices. THE WORST PERSON IN THE WORLD, on the other hand, is at once heartbreaking and hilarious in how it expresses the shared experience of these complicated experiences, a film with an impact that can only grow the more time you think about its equally fun and somber observations.

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