Cat Person movie review & film summary (2023)

by ihsan
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Movie Review

The movie “Cat Person” highlights the risks of dating someone whose concept of romance is Han Solo kissing Princess Leia in the asteroid belt. But how are you meant to spot a tiny red flag like that? 20-year-old Margot (Emilia Jones) works a part-time job at the concession stand at a nearby arthouse theater while attending college. She enjoys movies. Robert (Nicholas Braun), a tall, clumsy regular, is introduced to her. She is younger than him. She is intrigued by him in some way. He has the same sentiments for her. They go on a failed first “date,” which they don’t even refer to as a date, and then they exclusively communicate via text. There are no explicit images or sex conversation; just flirtatious banter. Things are different in person.

These first moments of “Cat Person” are engaging, subtly done, superbly observed, and superbly performed by Jones and Braun. From a distance, it is clear that these two need to get to know one another a little better before deciding whether to continue dating. Their connection developed in reverse. Although they had such a thrilling time chatting, in person she finds him to have a few tiny quirks that annoy her (although “Cat Person” is from Margot’s perspective, the same is probably true for him). The chemistry between Jones and Braun is evident in every moment. You’ll be familiar with it if you’ve done any dating. You’ll understand the feelings if you’ve ever fallen in love with someone over text just to have it fall apart in person.

Then, everything changes. The movie veers towards the completely ridiculous by using a jumble of unbelievable horror/erotic thriller clichés. It wouldn’t be as puzzling if the inspiration—the short tale of the same name by Kristen Roupenian—were not so well-known. The short story’s conclusion occurs at roughly the hour and twenty minute point in the movie, although “Cat Person” still has about forty minutes to go. The plot developed by scriptwriter Michelle Ashford that follows is hackneyed and lessens the chilling impact of Roupenian’s story. Why create such bizarre material when the short story received such widespread attention, as everyone who was even marginally alive in December 2017 would recall?

The movie does a good job of capturing some of the original’s fire, especially when it lets loose and laughs. Even though manners aren’t particularly in evidence, it works pretty well as a comedy, almost of “manners.” It’s funny how Robert is a know-it-all but also a passive-aggressive one. He is questioned about “Spirited Away,” which Margot reveals to be her favorite movie. He cannot just reply “No.” He is required to respond, “I haven’t, but I know the director.” Robert, ah. How does this much older man not know how to kiss properly? Their first kiss is terrible. Geraldine Viswanathan, Margot’s best friend and the moderator of a feminist message board, is frustrated by the way Margot defends her prolonged engagement with a lousy kisser and passive-aggressive odd guy. Like I stated, there is a lot of humor in this.

The sex scene, though, is the funniest and most interesting sequence. Here, Fogel successfully mimics the original’s unsettling interiority, and she does so with a daring artistic decision that is best allowed to be appreciated rather than described. It functions really nicely! The sex scene never ends! It’s both agonizing and entertaining. Fogel and Ashford have discovered a way to examine what happens in someone’s head during a poor hookup—the kind of hookup you regret both before and after. This is a crucial sequence, and it was so expertly realized that it could have stood alone as a short movie. Unfortunately,After this, “Cat Person” takes the undercurrents of the short tale and makes them plain and real, deflating the source’s eerie feeling of “we’ve all been through exactly this.”

But the sex scene perfectly encapsulates the reason why, in December 2017, everyone paused what they were doing to read and discuss a short novel.

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