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This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at San Francisco chapter.

*Spoiler Warning*

In the new movie The Greatest Hits starring Lucy Boynton as Harriet, and Justin H. Min as David, and David Cornswet, as Max; a nuanced expression of heartbreak is beautifully portrayed. The plot revolves around the intertwined life stories of the three, giving insight into the importance of moving on and accepting reality. Harriet is a time traveler, of sorts, in which when she listens to certain records she is able to travel back in time to specific moments of time. However, the moments are experiences she shared with her ex-boyfriend, Max. In her nightly routine, she plays records that transport her to the past in order to find a way to save her boyfriend from a horrible car accident they were in. The accident had left her alive but with a traumatic brain injury that transported her to the past, the only way she could reach the person she believed to have been the love of her life. 

Harriet walks around constantly with ear plugs on and headphones, if she leaves her home without it, it could be dangerous for her. Hearing songs unprompted by her, forces her to live through an episode of time travel. What people around her see is her seizing and passing out, but for Harriet, she is back with Max. She constantly goes back to various memories either, simply to relive the moments or convince Max not to do certain things, in hopes of changing the overall outcome. However, each time she tells Max not to do something, he never listens, oblivious to his ending. Harriet continues this for as long as she knows, building a comfortable life around this phenomnom by working in a quiet library as there is no potential in an uncontrolled episode; as well as locking herself away in her home otherwise. She becomes this shell of a person she used to be with an unhealthy obsession attempting to fix the past. Austin Crute, who portrays her best friend, Morris Martin, tries his best to be there for her but even he gets frustrated. From a place of love, Martin constantly shares his perceptions of Harriets new way of survival, urging her that life didn’t end when Max died and her life is still worth living without being tied down to the memories of him, and of them. 

When one day, Harriet heads over to her grief support group a new member stumbles in, David, a newly orphan. His entrance is memorable and catches Harriet’s eye. Through the days they seemingly have a magnetic attraction toward one another but in their initial meeting at a coffee shop Harriet has an episode and runs off. Wanting to pursue a potential attraction to David, Harriet finds herself at a crossroads with herself. Wanting to move on but not being able to live fully without finding out how to stop Max from dying. In one of her episodes she asks him a hypothetical situation, saying if there was something bad that happened to him wouldn’t he want her to work as hard as she could to save him. To her surprise Max shared how he loved her enough to know that she should live on and love. Learning this, Harriet, in some way, received permission to move on and live, but she didn’t see it yet. She was convinced that the car accident was caused because Max was on the hunt for a comfortable chair. Stumbling into an antique store, he found the right one and on transporting it and them back to their home, they got into a deadly accident. Finally being able to travel back in time to that day, she learns that the antique store was the store that David’s parents had owned. On that day, Harriet had seen David; they were passing ships. Max was insistent on buying that damn chair and there was nothing Harriet could do to convince him otherwise. Leaving that memory, Harriet knew what she had to do. She went back to the moment in time where she had met Max for the very first time. She made it so that their meeting became one of a brief passing memory, not one that changed the trajectory of their lives tying both of them together beyond life. By doing so she never got together with him and many other things ended up playing out in her life, in all the ways she was aiming towards prior to the tragic accident, only without Max by her side. However, it also meant she didn’t end up meeting David through the grief support group. Since there was no falling in love with Max, there was no hunt for a chair, and there was no accident, there was no death and therefore, no need for a support group. The man she had begun falling for, because she changed the past, she never got to meet him in that way. Though, it didn’t mean that they never get to meet, just through different circumstances – a better one.

Manisha Singh

San Francisco '24

Hi, my name is Manisha :) I am a junior at SFSU and am majoring in Sociology with a minor in Business Administration. I transferred to SFSU in the Spring of 2023 from community college where I worked as an English Tutor. I have always loved writing and reading as it helps to create a welcoming and relatable space for all areas of my life. I hope to help cultivate this same space for other women.