Film Review: Cat Person – 7.5/10

‘People choose to be scared…’

Whenever I read or see anything about the shitshow that is modern dating it makes me so happy that I am out of that game for good. It all just seems really awful. Based on Kristen Roupenian’s viral short story of the same name, Cat Person explores the more extreme end of the dating spectrum and while it wears its agenda on its sleeve, there is a smart and compelling movie here too…

Margot (Emilia Jones) is a college student who meets Robert (Nicholas Braun) at the cinema where she works. While her friend Taylor (Geraldine Viswanathan) warns her to be wary, Margot dives in anyway.

When you begin a film with the famous Margaret Atwood quote “Men are afraid that women will laugh at them. Women are afraid that men will kill them”, it is pretty clear what the message of the movie will be. That being said, there is more nuance here than meets the eye. Margot isn’t blameless and Taylor, the more militant feminist of the two, also treats some men unfairly throughout the film. If someone went into this movie wanting to find an anti-men agenda, however, they wouldn’t have much trouble finding one. Crucially, the message never overpowers the action and this is what makes Cat Person a successful movie.

I loved Emilia Jones in CODA, and she gives a fine performance again here, as does Braun who perfectly finds the balance between awkward, lovesick puppy and sinister stalker. His ability to play both sides of the coin is vital to the success of the film and both Braun and Fogel manage to keep the viewer guessing until the very end. It’s a neat trick.

Cat Person forces its male audience to ask tough questions of themselves and to do that without feeling didactic is a tough skill to pull off. A thought-provoking and provocative movie.