I adore dialogue. Two people talking all movie long while walking along the Seine? Count me in. Three people in a hotel room as they talk each other off a cliff, like the movie Tape? Yes please. Actually, movies that were plays work really really well for me. I completely dig the intricate inner workings of a few people sparring intellectually. Which is why I’m such a huge Woody Allen fan. Other than Sorkin, no one writes dialogue better than Allen. But if dialogue isn’t your thing, I’m really not thinking Comet is going to light your fuses. Trust me on this one. But if you do like dialogue with a healthy dose of sci-fi mind job-ness happening, then maybe Comet will really work for you.
Comet Quick Overview
“I feel like I’m in a wrong world. Because I don’t belong in a world where we don’t end up together. There are parallel universes out there where this didn’t happen. Where I was with you and you were with me. And whatever that Universe is, that’s the one where my heart lives in.”
So does that make sense? Two people meet. Two people bounce off of each other while continuing to crumple under the reality that they just don’t seem to be compatible… well, maybe at least in this particular universe?
Detailed Comet Movie Walkthrough
Dell and Kimberly meet at comet observation party. They were waiting in line. Kimberly with a date, and Dell solo. Dell is almost hit by a passing car, but is saved ultimately (or is he?) by Kimberly. And it is Dell’s intensity and desire to belittle Kimberly’s date that connects them together and eventually we see them run off together at the end of this particular evening. Throughout the rest of the movie we bounce backwards and forwards through time (or parallel universes depending on your preferred theory discussed below) as we watch them have breakups, reignitions, all referencing and reflecting backwards/forwards to an evening in Paris.
Side note. I once broke up with my girlfriend at the time (currently my wife) in Paris. Let me recommend something to all of you. Just free advice. Don’t ever break up with anyone in Paris. Just, it’s a bad idea.
Regardless, there are several moments that I need to make sure we all noticed. Generally speaking, whenever the conversation gets meta – or self referential, the camera shakes as if the movie is getting unseated from the projector. There are also moments when the sun doubles up in the sky. Have they jumped to Tatooine (sorry, Star Wars reference there for the uninitiated.) or does it mean something else?
And more important than absolutely anything else – what about the lie that is embedded in the middle of their relationship? When they first met, Dell lied about having watched Six Sense. And he suggests that Kimberly should get her back, which, initially, she tried to do right away but Dell called her on it. Right? Told her to wait until they had gotten to know each other better and were emotionally connected so that it would be more interesting and more bittersweet. Right? Right. Just remember that as we walk through some theories as to what exactly might be going on as this movie unfolds…
Comet Movie as a Linear Work of Art Theory
Comet worked hard to explain itself from within the context of the movie. And one of the key conversation points that tried to clarify itself was through this idea of non-temporally-bound art. Linear art. Something like that. Right? And in this theory, we just have to view Comet as a work of art. It is snapshots and shotgun blasts of emotion hurled against the canvass to give us a pastiche and panorama of their love and relationship. Basically, this painting or work of art is actually just a conversation piece about love and the complications of the modern world… or some such bullocks.
Comet Movie Sixth Sense Theory
When a movie makes reference to a book, another movie, a Greek Myth for heaven’s sake, pay attention. Because it wasn’t just fluff. Within a movie, there is so little time to make your point and tie everything together, absolution everything is essential and everything has a point for being there. So with that in mind, the movie’s reference to the movie the Sixth Sense HAS to be important.
Remember the beginning when Dell is saved by Kimberly? Dell ponders/posits that maybe he actually died and the rest of their conversation is just his dying subconscious that is grappling with this fact. You know, like Bruce Willis in Six Sense dummy! So the time jumps the incongruity, the dissonenance was just Dell’s attempt at trying to figure out that he is actually dying/dead.
Another bit of anectdotal evidence to support this theory is the fact that towards the end, during the climax of the entire movie, there were two suns in the movie, or, otherwise known as?? Headlights. Headlights. See? He was being run over by a cosmic, run away automobile the entire movie long. And even the dual suns denoted this fact. I rest my case.
Comet Movie Multiple Linear Universal Timelines
Or, maybe we should take the movie’s word for it, and realize that as we watch these stories they are from different parallel universes. We have Dell attempt 1, and Dell attempt 2, and Dell attempt 3, and we are watching the various parallels work along side one another without ever intersecting.
In the movie Coherence, we see the perfect example of this. A group of friends are at a party. And every single time someone leaves the house they spiral out of this parallel universe and into another where they come upon an entirely different house and different set of people that look exactly the same. But in this theory, Dell and Kimberly don’t actually cross to different parallel universes, but we are just seeing all of the negative time lines one after the other after another. We see failure after failure from Dell in various universes and they ultimately give way to the one universe where Dell’s heart also resides. Right? Rubbish.
Comet Movie Single Timeline Theory
As I was watching this movie, I was constantly looking for a single tell that the previous multiple linear timeline theory was correct. And the way that this would have worked would have been simple. All we needed was two views of the same conversation turning out with different results. Maybe one with them younger and one with them older. Maybe one while employed and then unemployed. Do you know what I mean? That would have definitively shown us that we had similar circumstances with different results occurring because they were in different universes.
But we never got that scene. We never were given a tell that showed us that this baseline premise was true. Instead, we had an out of order movie with continuous chaos from beginning until that last scene. If necessary, I could go through and reorder the movie to align with the phases and changes of their lives. It would be a little tricky, but utterly doable, similar to reordering the scenes of Pulp Fiction into their chronological order. Tricky, but very doable. The changes we are seeing – at least in this theory’s explanation anyway – is their getting older, their changing locations, their changing jobs. The changes are not as a result of parallel universes.
So there you have it, I have given you some theories that you can take or leave. One of them is probably more correct than the others. I personally believe that Comet has nothing to do with multiple parallel universes. And I also don’t believe that Dell is dead. The movie works together too well without the requisite tells of Jacob’s Ladder or Triangle maybe.
But what about the ending?
I waited to talk about the ending, the last conversation between a reunited Dell and Kimberly for a reason. The theories of how the movie operates are independent and separate from the movie’s ending, which is a different puzzle all to itself. We have Kimberly, engaged. And Dell, desperate to get her back once and for all. They talk and talk (which this movie is wont to do) about how inevitable it is and how impossible it really is. In the span of minutes they go from Romeo and Juliet’s star crossed lovers to the Sound of Music and back again.
Then something really important happens. Kimberly tells Dell, that she is pregnant. And it seems that the entirety of the movie is balancing on a knife’s edge right here. We have impending wedding. And now we have a child on the way. And Dell is reeling from the information. Unsure of what to do. Right? Until. Until he realizes that Kimberly is lying to him. Kimberly is referencing back to the beginning when they first met. She is alluding to the lie that Dell made about Six Sense. And now she is doubling down and really… if you think about it… inviting him to trash the engagement and to save their relationship by hearing what she is saying.
So it isn’t shocking as to what Dell does next with this information clear in his mind. He crosses the distance and kisses her. Right? Whether you think he crosses parallel universes to get to her. Or whether you believe he’s dead and is just coming to terms with his death in this moment. Or whether you just simply believe that after all they have gone through they both have shared history and shared care for one another that will survive the inherent entropy. What have you. He ceases the opportunity that Kimberly opened to him.
Roll Credits. What did you think of the movie? Which theory (mine or your own) do you ascribe to?