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'Ready Player One' Review: How Romantic Was That?

Bianca Rowena was born in Romania and now lives in Canada. She is the author of The Virgin Diaries and The Gift Stone YA book series.

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Action, Adventure, and Eye Candy

Ready Player One had a lot to take in! One of the most visually pleasing movies so far this year. The overall plot was predictable but I didn't mind that at all, in fact it made me consider writing some of these straightforward tropes myself in the future, they're so fun to engage in! I loved the clear-cut goals in this movie; find the Easter Egg in the game by passing challenges, figure out the clues, save the game, and save the world! Even the Young Adult trope of the main character not having parents to deal with is used, and of course the love interest who is also a great gamer with impressive skills. As well as the rebellion (although now I will never be able to hear that word in a movie without thinking of Star Wars).

There's a lot to love in this film. It's a film in which you can let yourself be immersed and just watch.

I do feel like mentioning a couple things I felt were unnecessary though; the gore in the horror movie challenge (for little kids in the audience) and Samantha's [Art3mis] self-image issues of what she looks like in real life.

...Ready Player One is - if taken in the spirit it was made - a joyous romp through pop culture by a director who's found the fun in his work again.

Steven Spielberg crafts his most entertaining film in years with the help of endless pop culture references and some incredible CGI.

— Entertainment.ie

My Issues With the Film

The 'Horror Movie' challenge in the game was not too scary for me, but I went with my daughter and I was on edge, wondering what they were going to do next. There was also a small child in the audience, about 5 years old. It was unfortunate the movie had this bloody part, thereby making it not safe for all ages (Mom's with small kids, be forewarned). There is the option to take a potty break during 'The Shining' challenge in the film, then return five minutes later when it's over.

My next issue was Samantha's comment that Parzival will be disappointed if he sees her in real life. We do not see Samantha until a bit later in the movie. At first we only see her avatar as Art3mis, a thin and shapely girl with big eyes. When Parzival asked her about meeting in real life she became very self-conscious about how she looks like in real life, which she says isn't anything like her avatar.

A lot was running through my mind at this point, when she said this. I was curious what her real person look was. Was she actually a boy? Was she self-conscious about her weight or her looks? Was she in a wheelchair? Was she really nerdy and nervous to connect in the real world? What was it?

Turns out she was a beautiful, young girl of slight build, who looked prettier than her avatar, in my opinion. So then why did she think Parzival would be disappointed in how she looked in real life, you ask? Because she had a birthmark on her face around one eye. It wasn't even that dark or distracting.

So, in ways that I won't get into in this article, this part of the movie bothered me. I haven't read the book and maybe it's not a birthmark that makes her self-conscious about meeting Parzival in real life, maybe there's a whole other level to the novel.

Despite these two issues I had, namely because I took my daughter to see it with me, the movie was very well done and the script was good too. Not to mention the nostalgia and video gaming history!

So, how 'romantic' was this movie...?

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Romantic Meter

There was a predicable romantic story-line here, which I was totally expecting so I didn't mind. I give it a 3/10 for romance. Generally a 2/10 would be a basic sub-plot romance (not the main focus of the movie) with a Disney-like kiss at the end. This movie had a bit more than that, with the 'avatar dancing' and the 'meeting in real life' dynamic. There was also some in-game touching, which added a bit of excitement (although the scene gave me more of a nervous/uncomfortable vibe—Parzival's feelings, as portrayed by the actor—which isn't necessarily bad, since that was the intent of the scene.

So as a romance enthusiast, I'd say I wasn't disappointed in the romance, mostly because I knew what I'd be getting, which was minimal romantic action, but I wasn't exactly satisfied with it either. I didn't feel a connection between Parzival and Samantha, as though the actors weren't 'into' each other. When there is more of a noticeable on-screen connection between actors, I rate higher on the romance reader.

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“Ready Player One” is far from a masterpiece, but as the fanboys say, it’s canon.

— New York Times

Conclusion: Worth a Watch on The Big Screen

All-in-all, this movie is definitely worth a watch, especially in 3-D. It's visually stunning and Parzival's Avatar, throughout the movie, is quite pleasing to the eyes; not to mention great music and many awesome old-school video game references and trivia.

-Thanks for reading