this is NOT a love story

Okay so you may be asking why I decided to pick this scene to analyse. I mean it doesn’t particularly seem that ‘meaningful’ or overly dramatic at first glance, right? I find this scene strangely relatable, like I’m sure a lot of you do as well. We’ve all been in that situation where we’ve been looking forward to an event or excited about a certain idea…and then things don’t turn out like you planned. And it’s disappointing. This is what drew me into the scene and I felt a real connection with Joseph Gordon – Levitt’s character as he yearns for his expectation, rather than the reality.

Technically, the split screen effect provides the perfect representation of ‘expectation vs reality’ and this is something that should really connect with the audience. It’s a very simple idea, however very effective at displaying the nature of the scene and the feelings of the protagonist. Camera angles are consistent and generally pretty similar between both screens meaning the focus is mainly put on to the different scenarios that are occurring in each, forcing us to play a sort of obvious ‘spot of the difference.’


     Similar camera angles and scenarios 

There is text at the bottom, telling the audience which is the expectation and which is reality, and this stays on screen through the entirety of the scene, providing a constant reminder of how reality actually is and not letting us slip into any hopeful ideas for the characters.

The music, Us by Regina Spector, is heard creating a saddening tone to the scene which highlights the disappointment of the reality. Diegetic sound can also be heard, such as the conversations and general noise of the party, which keeps the scene life like and making the situation so much more real and therefore even more relatable.

I thought this was an interesting scene, because it does not conform to the normal stereotype of romance films. Likewise it fits in with the style and narrative of the rest of the movie perfectly, maintaining a quirkiness and recognisable style. As stated at the beginning of the film, ‘This is not a love story’ and this scene displays this one line in a beautiful, yet slightly depressing manner.


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