In Review

Film review: The Worst Person in the World 

Charming romcom about a young woman trying to find her way

“The film world might have given up on smart romantic comedies,” said Robbie Collin in The Daily Telegraph, but “nobody seems to have told” the Norwegian director Joachim Trier. His latest feature is a sexy, witty drama about a “medical student turned psychology student turned aspiring professional photographer” called Julie (Renate Reinsve), who is squaring up to the end of her 20s “without much sense of what might lie beyond them”. Set over 12 loose “chapters”, the film charts Julie’s quest for a life “in which she can be the unambiguous lead”, rather than a supporting character. Along the way, she forms a “scorching” attraction to fellow drifter Eivind (Herbert Nordrum) – but there’s a problem: Julie already has a boyfriend (Anders Danielsen Lie), who is older than her and who is keen to start a family. Even when the “transcendent steaminess” of this love triangle gives way to “tragedy and thorny choices”, the film’s “teasing spirit and compassion persist”. 

“If someone were to ask me what millennial anguish feels like,” said Clarisse Loughrey on The Independent, I might well point them in the direction of this empathetic and relatable comedy. Julie is, in effect, a “modern-day Goldilocks, dunking her spoon into an endless line of porridge bowls”; she’s forever chasing men, jobs and desires she doesn’t even know she wants. It’s one of the few films I’ve seen that seems “actually invested in why an entire generation can seem so aimless” – and Reinsve is superb. “I can’t fathom what all the fuss is about,” said Deborah Ross in The Spectator. The film just rehashes the “messy young woman” trope we’ve seen before: in Fleabag and The Souvenir, say. “The two hours go by pleasantly enough, but the bottom line is: I felt nothing and I didn’t care.” 

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