The Worst Person in the World Review

The Worst Person in the World manages to deliver a refreshing spin on the well-worn coming-of-age genre with an honest look into adulting.

Julie (Renate Reinsve), a smart Norwegian student in her late 20s, realizes that her passion lies in the mind and not in the body. She switches from medicine to psychology and dumps her doctor boyfriend. What seems to be a promising start becomes a series of trial and error as she goes through trysts, jumps from one relationship to another, and flirts with different careers.

The Worst Person in the World is Julie in 12 chapters, with relatable sex scenes, social awkwardness, screw-ups, and that moment when you come to terms with mortality. Every millennial will relate to the fact that when you have a lot of options you’ll second guess everything. All you need is to wait for inspiration to strike and everything will fall into place.

Julie shacks up with Aksel, a 44-year-old cartoonist whose underground success lets her live comfortably while settling for a job at a bookstore. Maybe this domestic stability will provide her with a new perspective. But when talks about babies start and routine settle in, Julie feels the clock ticking.

Itching for something different, she crashes a random party and meets a barista named Einvid. Both confess that they’re in a relationship. But both also test how much they can be intimate without cheating. Each reassured that they didn’t as they part ways.

This doesn’t last for long. In one brilliant scene (there’s another here involving mushrooms but I won’t spoil you), time suddenly stops as Aksel pours coffee. Julie walks out of his apartment and passes by people suspended mid-action. She finds Einvind and Aksel takes the L.

Julie is a hot mess, but Renate Reinsve still makes you root for her. She’s confident, smart, and unafraid to try new things. She’s also aware that her indecisiveness can make her the worst person to be around.

Julie eventually figures out that it’s useless waiting for life to happen.

The Worst Person in the World is a funny, poignant, and provocative look at how life comes at you fast without the trite revelations. Joachim Von Trier makes the rom-com and coming-of-age genre interesting again by showing the haphazard and bad but human way of navigating a journey towards self-actualization.

The movie is a glimpse of Julie’s life in months and years, but the script is able to provide a whole picture that any generation can relate to, where one night can be as life-changing as an entire year. It’s a beautiful film that looks as rich as it feels.

The Worst Person in the World tells us that trying to become a special snowflake is a self-serving myth. What you need is to be the kind person you can live with and make peace with the decisions you made and failed to make.

The Worst Person in the World

10

The Worst Person in the World is a funny and refreshing millennial coming-of-age tale and romantic comedy with plenty of crossover appeal.

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