Entergalactic is a modern-day fairytale set in New York City from the creative mind of Kid Cudi. Its visual style is reminiscent of Spider-Man: Into The Spider-Verse and The Mitchells vs. the Machines, yet its story is entirely its own. A slice of life story that focuses on the beginning of a relationship and the complications of modern dating. Jabari, an aspiring comic book writer, has just moved into a new Manhattan building, where he meets his neighbor, Meadow, a skilled photographer. The story takes its time getting to the point where they actually start dating and develop a meaningful connection with one another, asking interesting questions related to love, life, and dating. Such as, how do we be authentic? Why is commitment so hard? And what does being responsible for love look like?
On Being Authentic
Dating can feel lackluster and unsatisfying. Just ask Medium’s Pritha Ray and Lea Teigelkötter, who both discussed their experiences with dating apps in the past. Yet, it can also be an exciting experience in which you share yourself and open up to people in ways you have never experienced before. In Jabari and Meadow’s relationship we get to see what a good relationship looks like as they go through the growing pains and awkwardness that come with starting any new relationship.
Getting through that initial awkwardness and moving past your own anxieties is not always easy. Perhaps there is something about the other person that is making you hesitate, or perhaps there is something you need to change in yourself before you can be your authentic self. It is because of this that Jabari is unsuccessful in his relationship with his ex-girlfriend, Carmen, and why he had a one-night stand with her even after saying he just wanted to be friends. Though he says that he is not looking for a relationship, the reality is that he is not looking for a relationship with her.
Being authentic comes in all sorts of shapes and does not necessarily mean we are showing our best selves, but our sincere intentions. When that sincerity is muddied, it can result in disharmony and confrontation. As was the case in Entergalactic when Jabari’s one-night stand with Carmen affected his relationship with Meadow, even though it happened before they got together. When Meadow confronts him about it, Jabari, despite not having done anything wrong during his time with Meadow, is unable to defend himself. Realizing that he has not been sincere with Meadow, Jabari is unsure of what to do, and struggles over his commitment to her.
Why Do We Fail To Commit Ourselves To A Relationship?
The questions of commitment and being ready for a relationship are brought up throughout Entergalactic in Jabari’s relationships with Carmen and Meadow, as well as in the anecdotes given by the side-characters. It’s easy to develop a mindset that justifies all the reasons why this relationship cannot work and why it’s just easier to be friends. It is certainly easier than going through the ideas of commitment and readiness, and questioning whether or not there is any problem there at all.
When confronted with the first notable disagreement in their relationship through Jabari’s past with Carmen, they initially assume there to be an insurmountable problem between them. Despite the genuine feelings that they still have for one another, they question their commitment to one another and repeat the mistakes of past relationships. Neither one is happy with the decision being made, but both still refuse to grow past their petty, infantile mindset. Letting the perceived problem bring them further and further apart.
It is easy to develop feelings and fall in love with another person. It might even feel like you are in some kind of dream. The problem with that is that it will only ever be a dream until you take the steps and put in the work to make it real. However, reality is not always easy to accept. It requires us to accept some potentially hard truths about ourselves and why we have been unable to commit up until this point. More importantly, though, it requires us to be responsible for our own actions and take responsibility for love in our own lives.
We Need To Take More Responsibility
Following his conflict with Meadow, Jabari is unsure of what to do next. Never having felt this way towards another person before, he tries to play it cool and tells himself that neither of them were after anything serious. However, after getting some good advice from his wiser sister, he accepts that if things are to go anywhere with Meadow, he needs to take responsibility for making sure that it happens.
By getting closure from his past relationship with Carmen, apologizing to Meadow, and being present at her big debut at a professional gallery, Jabari is able to grow past his insecurities and doubts and show that he is able to work through the troubles in his relationship with Meadow. Ultimately, they are able to make their relationship work because they come to accept and understand one another in such a way that they both get what they need by the end of the story.
Entergalactic is very upfront and, in many ways, simple in its themes and messaging. But there’s nothing wrong with simplicity when it is executed as brilliantly as it was in this story. Love can be a pain, but it is a pain we just cannot seem to live without. Be it romantic love, as seen here, or familial love, as discussed by Lara Gunturkun in her review of Everything Everywhere All At Once. In a world that often feels so cruel and hurtful, it does no harm to be kind and open about our love. Perhaps love really is the one thing that can save us.
Featured Image: NASA
Editor: Hana Maurer