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“Comet” (2014) - Sam Gall Movie Review Issue #35 Gem Mint 10.0

Updated: Sep 17, 2020

“Comet” (2014) directed by Sam Esmail

Set in a parallel universe, Comet bounces back and forth over the course of an unlikely but perfectly paired couple's six-year relationship.

You might like this if you like: Justin Long, Emmy Rossum, Sam Esmail, “Mr. Robot” (2015-2019), romance, comedy, drama, dramedies, rom-coms, science fiction, fantasy, fairy tails, “Black Mirror” (2011-), “Shameless” (2011-), "Maniac" (2018) (Netflix mini-series), "Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind" (2004), "Palm Springs" (2020)

Emmy Rossum (left) & Justin Long (right) in "Comet" (2014)

I was immediately attracted to this film by the trio involved. I hadn’t even seen a trailer yet and was excited purely by the fact that the Sam Esmail who is the creator/writer/director of one of my favorite shows, “Mr. Robot” starring Rami Malek, had written and directed this film. It starred one of my most favorite underrated stars, Justin Long, who I have followed forever and am currently obsessed with his podcast titled “Life is Short with Justin Long” in which I’ve gotten to learn more about his life and perspective. One of my favorite human beings. Emmy Rossum I first saw was because of my fiancé via “Shameless” and was excited to see her in her first role outside of the show. I was sold purely on seeing who was involved. No plot needed. No trailer. Well, okay.. I did end up watching the trailer and was blown away! It just reaffirmed my excitement for the film.

Justin Long in "Comet" (2014)

I was interested in how the chemistry of these two actors would work with “Mr. Robot”s Sam Esmail. First off I loved that he let Justin Long do what Justin Long does best. He was able to do his improv comedy style while creating this complex and multifaceted character(s). Emmy Rossum I felt I got to see act through multiple characters as well. Not knowing her work as well as Long’s or Esmail’s I was pleased to get to see so many different sides of her acting capabilities. She was funny, sweet and mysterious which you get in “Shameless” too but the way Esmail captures both Long and Rossum whether it’s through his characters or through his lens; you get both a familiarity from the actors but also a breath of fresh air and excitement in the freedom Esmail has given them. One shot in particular I remember where he held us on a long shot of Rossum during a fight before the wedding where we just heard Long’s lines off camera. Expecting this kind of experimental filmmaking and framing of shots from watching Esmail’s show “Mr. Robot” only helped raise my excitement for seeing how Rossum and Long do within them.

Emmy Rossum in "Comet" (2014)

Keep in mind that Esmail hadn’t created “Mr. Robot” (2015-2019) yet being as it was a year away from “Comet” (2014). Which for me only brought more of that feeling of innocence. It was Esmail’s first feature film. So f*cking impressive for a first film. I know at that point Long and Rossum had for sure been established stars and taking a chance on a nobody at the time is incredible. I think he had done one short film which I need to check out. But knowing Esmail’s skills with writing I’m sure the script was enough to impress them. While at the same time knowing Long’s style I’m sure he gave a layer of improv to the story as well - which I could assume from the end product - allowed for Rossum to play too. It felt very loose with the dialogue yet more honed than most improv I’m used to seeing. Such an outstanding collaboration.

Emmy Rossum (left) & Justin Long (right) in "Comet" (2014)

I loved the story. It reminded obviously of “Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind” (2004) starring Jim Carrey & Kate Winslet and Netflix’s “Maniac” starring Jonah Hill & Emma Stone. Reminded of this year’s “Palm Springs” (2020) a little bit too with a splash of Netflix’s “Black Mirror” series. Well you can’t reference “Black Mirror” without referencing “The Twilight Zone” too. “Comet” (2014) felt so real and relatable in the most beautiful and painful ways. Some parts are rough to watch, at least for me, but I praise them for making such a real moment that I could relate to so closely. Many real moments. The whole film felt that way.

Emmy Rossum (left) & Justin Long (right) in "Comet" (2014)

I was surprised how funny Esmail let the film be, most credit due to Long and Rossum's performance but I’m sure the other half of it was Esmail’s writing too. I think my fiancé and I’s favorite moment was how Rossum’s character described the perfect weather. Beautiful writing and characters. One of the most gorgeous shot films let alone rom-coms I've ever seen. Esmail has an incredible eye for cinema. One of my favorite endings for a film as well. A fascinating and truly enjoyable collaboration on all fronts!

Written by Sam Gall 08/08/20

CGC Grading: Gem Mint 10.0

Official Trailer:

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