Someone Great, a new Netflix original comedy, was written and directed through the first-time filmmaker Jennifer Kaytin Robinson. It is the sort of movie that’s undeniably of its time and nevertheless interestingly rote. At instances, it performs like an uninterrupted torrent of memes and millennialisms, as though its attention to the parlance and particularities of cutting-edge urban life may cover the truth that it’s otherwise a popular, paint-by means of-the-numbers pal-romcom, in which three girlfriends – two are at the heels of a breakup; the 1/3 has sworn off committed relationships – ring of their sisterhood and their sorrows at a modern-day tune pageant.
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1 out of five stars.
Characters Juul advert nauseum. They compare respective houses in Hogwarts. They say things like “slide into my DMs” and “tastemakers’ brunch” or call-drop Liz Lemon and Lady Bird. There’s ability right here for a form of zeitgeisty farce – The Sweetest Thing remodeled for the age of memes – and but Someone Great manages to undermine its ability for novelty at almost every flip, last lamentably compliant with the beats of the genre it seeks to uproot.
And those beats, they come while you maximum anticipate them: the meditative, post-breakup stroll within the park, set, as ever, to a soothing acoustic guitar; the epiphanies approximately men, pals, boom and independence; the expository supercut of photos and text messages that tells the story of a relationship (and is soundtracked, actually, by way of Lorde’s track Supercut). The best components of Someone Great that don’t appear reverse-engineered utilizing a Netflix algorithm are the performances, which faucet into the antisocial buoyancy of a quarter-lifestyles crisis and really almost defies the film’s symphony of cliches.
Chief among them is Gina Rodriguez, whose comic timing is instinctual and sharp, a piece Aniston-like in its easy appeal. Playing Jenny, a music journalist whose new task at Rolling Stone calls for her to move to San Francisco and give up her 9-12 months courting with Nate (a reliably strong Lakeith Stanfield), Rodriguez proves her main-female bona fides as optimistically as she did on six seasons of the CW sitcom Jane the Virgin, which airs its collection finale this spring. The punchlines aren’t anything to jot down domestic about, but Rodriguez grants them with exuberant spontaneity, or at the same time as consuming bourbon from a pretzel straw. “Lies-ah Minnelli,” she says to her best pal Erin, a relationship agonist who insists she hasn’t stuck feelings for the female she’s been courting, however, whose conduct indicates otherwise.
Using the charismatic DeWanda Wise, Erin is performed, who hit the huge time in 2017 together with her leading position on Netflix’s TV version of Spike Lee’s movie. She’s Gotta Have It. Wise and Brittany Snow – rounding out the trio in the sweet-and-bitter sidekick position that’s grown to be her stock-in-alternate – are given sizeable storylines in their own, preventing the movie from stewing too lengthy in Jenny’s submit-split ennui, that’s frequently assuaged, as it has been, via capsules, alcohol, and tickets to Neon Classic. First, besides, they ought to get to Neon Classic in one piece. That’s the name of the tune festival wherein the women plan one final hurrah before Jenny movements out west – it additionally might have been a higher and less willfully abstract title for the film. However, I digress.
Along with the manner, they stumble upon RuPaul, who – clears throat – plays a clairvoyant molly provider named Hype, the owner of more than one baby shark and three obedient chihuahuas. Mother Ru has the funniest cameo in a movie featuring numerous: there’s additionally Rosario Dawson, as a style magazine snob, and the up-and-coming comic Jaboukie Young-White, who glides around an unreasonably spacious SoHo loft on a hoverboard, as though plucked straight from a thinkpiece about millennials killing such-and-such enterprise. Robinson’s zippy writing traffics in these varieties of caricatures, but too regularly, the very fact of exaggeration functions as an alternative for humor rather than a springboard for something sharper and greater unexpected. The finest tack for this sort of technology-particular comedy could have been that of Ingrid Goes West, a film whose tropes are torqued to the point of authentic toxicity.
Yes, Someone Great is doing something different, greater uplifting and benign, but it’s also overlaying properly-trodden ground. Never once is the destiny of its primary friendship doubtful, neither is the possibility of enlightenment, which, whilst it comes, has all the boilerplate profundity of a fridge magnet. If you may, however, stay for the soundtrack, for the amiable presence of Gina Rodriguez, and for a couple of minutes of RuPaul, lounging on a leopard-print sofa with an extravagantly huge blunt in hand.