I will forever preach that Edgar Wright's "Scott Pilgrim vs. the World" is one of the most underrated films of all time, and repeat viewings have only cemented its place as one of my favorite films of all time. Michael Cera's Scott Pilgrim is an all-Canadian loser with an affinity for music, girls and Dance Dance Revolution. He's a college-age young adult in a casual relationship with a manic high school senior (appropriately named Knives) until he loses interest and begins to pursue the new girl in town, Ramona Flowers.
The film follows Scott's journey to literally win over Ramona (and by literally I literally mean literally). As it turns out, doing so means Scott has to face a villainous league of Ramona's seven evil ex-lovers hell-bent on destroying him. Needless to say, it's an outlandish premise peppered with equally absurd bits of dialogue that make the whole experience incredibly charming.
1. “You punched the highlights out of her hair!”
Here's a moment where Wright's visual style, one mirroring a classic video game aesthetic and shamelessly exaggerating events for comedy, bleeds into the film's plot when Romana's ex-boyfriend Todd literally punches the blue highlights out of Knives' hair.
Little moments like these are exactly why I adore Edgar Wright's refreshing visual style, in which hardly any moments of drama are played without some comedic angle. If we judge a film's quality by its balance of style and substance, I'd argue that Wright's style undeniably is his substance, which is exactly what makes it so appealing.
2. "You made me swallow my gun! That's going to be in my digestive tract for seven years!"
He's a cold-blooded destroyer of men, but even he knows the dangers of gum digestion.
This one's a commonly believed myth from the movie's hilarious yet very hateable villain Gideon Gordon Graves (notice the consonance). The seventh and ultimate evil ex, Gideon has both charm and wit that make him the ultimate adversary for Scott, who has neither. No action/adventure tale is complete without a compelling villain, and Gideon Graves' elaborate persona perfectly caps off the film.
You know you've created an awesome villain when he's cracking jokes in the midst of a heated battle, and I can't help but laugh the moment the fight ceases for a quick one-liner, regardless of how many times I've watched.
3. “I mean, did you really see a future with this girl?” Scott: “Like, with jet packs?”
I'm left wondering whether Scott actually pictures a Jetsons-style future with Ramona, complete with robot butlers and hoverboards.
Regardless, this moment perfectly encapsulates the brother-sister relationship between Anna Kendrick's Stacey and Scott Pilgrim. Her often realistic advice falls to deaf ears as Scott immaturely navigates through his romantic fantasy with Ramona Flowers. Anna Kendrick is a fantastic addition to the cast and plays a pivotal role in shaming Scott along his journey.
Frankly, I was surprised to learn Kendrick had acting chops beyond her role as the straight woman in "Pitch Perfect," but evidently she's being underutilized. For now we can appreciate the brilliant chemistry between Stacey and Scott (all too familiar for siblings like me).
4. “Scott, if your life had a face, I would punch it.”
I think we all know someone whose life we would punch, if their life had a face.
On second thought, maybe we don't. It's kind of a confusing sentiment considering that Scott's life does have a face, which probably explains why Scott cowers in fear immediately after Kim utters this mysterious threat. Kim Pine is a former girlfriend of Scott's and the current drummer for his band Sex Bob-omb, meaning she knows him better than most.
5. "You’ve got mail!"Scott: "Dude, this thing claims I have mail."
Scott's disbelief over his inbox not being empty perfectly shows the charm Michael Cera brings to the character of Scott Pilgrim. It's a subtle line that's quite easily missed upon first viewing. I'm left questioning why a 2010 movie would have a character's personal computer announce "You've got mail!" or even have him use an old computer in the first place if not solely to make this joke and indicate either how uncool (or just broke) Scott really is.
6. "You broke the heart that broke mine!"
A hilarious Romeo and Juliet misquote if I doth sayeth so myself, especially since it's uttered right before Knives lunges into battle at the movie's climax. Knives' transformation from a lovestruck fangirl to a battle-ready soldier is quick, but it's tremendously satisfying when lines like this one show she genuinely cares for Scott even when their relationship is post-mortem.
7. "I kind of feel like I'm on drugs when I'm with you. Not that I do drugs. Unless you do drugs. Then I do drugs all the time, every drug."
Sure, it's probably better if you act like yourself on a first date, but if you're like Scott, being ultra-relatable might just be the way to go. Scott and Ramona's stroll through the park includes some killer lines between a curious Ramona and a nervous yet delighted Scott, this one marking the moment of peak hilarity between the two lovebirds. "Scott Pilgrim" is worth a viewing even just for this pleasant scene alone. Even before the movie's central conflict you're treated to an adorable helping of chemistry between Mary Elizabeth Winstead and Michael Cera.
8. “Kick her in the balls!”
Another great pre-battle one-liner, this time from Kieran Culkin's character Wallace (whose face you might remember from "Home Alone"). Wallace's paradoxical exclamation is just another example of the kind of humor Edgar Wright infuses in his dialogue, dripping with British sarcasm and clever oxymorons. This one's especially hard to miss; I'd even glossed over it entirely until I rewatched the movie in preparation for this article.
9. “Bread makes you FAT!?”
Though it might not be hilarious on paper, Wright makes this joke work by dropping it in the middle of a romantic (yet comedic) montage between Ramona and Scott. Michael Cera's often criticized for playing the exact same character in most of his movies: the clueless, awkward young adult whose primary characteristics boil down to the word "loser."
While I do think Cera's yet to show any kind of acting range, Wright utilizes his strength perfectly to create brilliant moments like this and reinforce Scott's overwhelming naivety.