Review: Someone Great
In more breaking news re: Netflix-knows-me-better-than-I-know-myself/Is-slowly-plotting-to-take-over-my-life, I have another favorite Netflix Original and it’s called Someone Great.
LADIES – this is a feel it, laugh about it, totally relate to it, modern story about girl power – and somewhere the Spice Girls just shed a sparkly tear.
(Slight spoilers to follow, but they are minor. Super minor! I promise.)
Ok, so here’s the setup: Someone Great is primarily about a woman named Jenny, who’s 29 years old and is a career-minded superstar. She’s known she wants to be a journalist since her sophomore year of college, and she’s great at it, and she’s taken all the steps she needs to in order to completely deserve the dream job that she was just offered at Rolling Stone. However, Jenny lives in NYC, and so does her boyfriend (Nate) of nine years, and so do her two best friends (of even more than nine years). And this dream job? It’s in San Francisco.
But no big deal – Jenny is gonna take it! Because – in case you missed it when I said it the first time – IT’S HER DREAM JOB! And her two best friends are super supportive. But Nate is not.
Nate dumps her. (Huge, massive eye roll.)
Before I dive into the things I enjoyed about this movie, I want to call out one more thing: Jenny is played by Gina Rodriguez a.k.a. Jane the Virgin, and I am OBSESSED because Jenny IS NOT Jane the Virgin. At all. AT-FREAKING-ALL. *Snaps for Gina.*
Ok! So here’s why I think you should watch:
This is undoubtedly a story about female friendship at its finest – no backstabbing, no cattiness, no girlfriends standing on the sideline, cheering on the female lead as some man decides she’s The One. Jenny has two best friends – Erin (DeWanda Wise) and Blair (Brittany Snow) – and they just really, really love each other. And support each other. To the point where Nate and the breakup is pretty much just background boy noise, and I like it.
This is a small point, but one that I think is worth mentioning: I really appreciated the way that this was cast. Usually, girls who look like Brittany Snow get the lead in a movie like this, and girls who look like DeWanda and Gina are the funny supporting cast, and a guy who looks like no-one-who-was-even-in-this-movie gets to be the ex. But NOPE. Not today. Netflix is about that real-world-casting and I’m all the way here for it.
Lizzo. Selena. Need I say more?
These girls put me to shame even when I was in my partying prime. If I did 20% of what they did in one day, I would have been curled in a happy little ball in my bed before 4pm. But they are basically 30 (like me!) and live in NYC (like me!) and their stamina is nothing short of inspirational.
Jenny loved Nate. More than she’s loved any other man. For nine years. And now she’s 29 years old. And he dumped her because long distance doesn’t sound great. And that’s not to say he didn’t love her, too. He loved her a lot. He said ‘I love you’ first! And all the flashbacks we get to see between the two of them shows us that what both of them were feeling was definitely really real. So there’s a part of you, while you’re watching this movie, especially if you’re a woman, that feels how devastating this has to be for Jenny. To be that in love. And to give someone those many years. And for him to not want to try when she would have. But here is the thing: Jenny would have had to make herself smaller in order to make that relationship work. The bigness of her dreams, and her talents, and her ambitions didn’t fit within the confines of that relationship; she would have had to be a version of herself that he needed, versus the full reality of who she is. And she’s choosing not to shrink herself.
I thought this was so pretty that I pressed rewind and recorded it on my cell phone so I could retype it here now. HA. I wish I was joking. But this is something that Jenny writes in her notebook about Nate, as she starts making all those inspirational realizations:
Do you think I can have one more kiss? I’ll find closure on your lips and then I’ll go.
Maybe also one more breakfast, one more lunch, and one more dinner – I’ll be full, and happy, and we can part.
But in between meals, maybe we can lie down one more time; one more prolonged moment where time suspends indefinitely as I rest my head on your chest.
My hope is that if we add up the “one mores” they will equal a lifetime, and I will never have to get to the part where I let you go.
But that’s not real, is it? There are no more “one mores.“
I met you when everything was new and exciting and the possibilities of the world seemed endless.
And they still are. For you, for me. But not for us.
Somewhere between then and now, here and there, I guess we didn’t just grow apart – we grew up.
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 glass 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 will always be.
Because it was us. And we were magic.
Until Netflix gives me my next recommendation…