Someone Great is a postmodern love story about the end of a cinematic romance, rather than the start. This film is about the painful but sometimes necessary trial of moving on from a good love story that’s unfortunately reached its conclusion. It’s about moving on from someone great.
Our lead, Jenny (played by the always captivating Gina Rodriguez from Jane the Virgin fame), is pushed into an emotional spiral when her long-term boyfriend of 9 years breaks up with her upon hearing her plans to move across the country to LA for a brilliant new writing job at Rolling Stone. Jenny’s once perfectly planned and functional life is shattered, and she calls on her two best friends – Erin and Blair (played by DeWanda Wise and Brittany Snow respectively) – to help her put the pieces back together. Or more accurately, distract her from the mess with one equally messy and bombastic night out filled with drink, drugs and trendy music gigs.
The actual love story in this film are the female friendships. Thankfully, this female powered film about female friendships is actually written and directed by a woman (revolutionary!). Writer and director, Jennifer Robinson, created Someone Great after she experienced a similar break-up shock and wanted to capture how music can so accurately narrate all the feelings you spin through post-breakup. The soundtrack for Someone Great is appropriately brilliant for a film about a music journalist trying to score tickets to a music festival, with standout songs from Lizzo, Mitski, Phoebe Bridgers, and Selena.
The female influence in the production of this film is evident inthe unwavering support and honest-yet-affectionate tough-love shared between the leads. The pure love shared between these three characters is touching and is played perfectly by Rodriguez, Wise and Snow. All three of the friends have distinctive and differing identities as well as their own story arcs within the main overarching plot.
It’s a rare gift that movie best friends are given more to do than just sassy one-liners but Someone Great finally shows us that side characters have lives too.
Thanks to the well rounded supporting characters, this film explores not only love lost, but love found, love that’s not quite there, and free love. So there’s bound to be a story-line everyone watching can relate too. If that’s not enough, thanks to Wise, we also get to escape from the heteronormative standards of love stories and enjoy a gay love story which doesn’t end in death or tragedy.
Of course, the driving point of this film is the relationship between Jenny and now ex Nate (played by Sorry to Bother You’s LaKeith Stanfield). The chemistry between Jenny and Nate is magical and their love is so clear in every shot, even when they’re performing the most ordinary domestic acts of lazing around in hoodies, trying to order some takeout. The only slight fault in this film is that we never really get to learn a lot about Nate – we only see snippets of him and always through Jenny’s perspective, so he’s not as three-dimensional as other characters. It would have been nice to know more about why Jenny thought he was so great and why their love was so electrifyingly magical.
Even though this film is about Jenny’s devastation of losing her love, the film is by no means a downer. The chaotic energy pulsing off Jenny as she pushes to keep moving and keep distracted is exhibited through fun, loud and colourful adventures. Nestled in the middle of drunken shenanigans is a cameo from the legendary Rupaul, who shows up as the girl gang’s wise and brilliantly eccentric drug dealer, equipped with a fabulously cool apartment, baby shark tank, and a joint the size of one of her princess-dragged chihuahuas.
Someone Great is an important story that’s been missing from the media – a tender ending to a passionate love story that would usually be the focal-point of any film. Someone Great shows the aftermath of grand romances – it shows the drifting, the divide, the sad truth that even when you love someone so deeply, it’s not always enough. And that’s okay. It’s okay to live one love story and then let it end and move on, safe in the knowledge that those times were not wasted; they were real, they were special, and they will live on in your memories.
“When something breaks, if the pieces are large enough, you can fix it. Unfortunately, sometimes things don’t break, they shatter. But when you let the light in, shattered light will glitter. And in those moments, when the pieces of what we were catch the sun, I’ll remember just how beautiful it was. Just how beautiful it’ll always be. Because it was us and we were magic. Forever.” – Jenny (played by Gina Rodriguez) in Someone Great
Stream Someone Great on Netflix here.