*Film Spoiler Alerts*
I have a friend. Let’s call her Ally. She had one of those childhood sweetheart relationships people see in the movies with the rainbows and butterflies from the first date, first kiss, first love. They imagined their careers, a family, a house, a future together. Everything seemed possible and then not.
He broke up with her. After five years…
She wondered, what happened? Where did they go wrong? Was it her? Was it him? Or was it inevitable?
It really was over – at least in their story it was.
This is the same heartbreak one can relate with after watching the Netflix Original movie Someone Great. The movie stars Gina Rodriguez as Jenny, Brittany Snow as Blair, Dewanda Wise as Erin, and Lakeith Stanfield as Nate.
The story is set up in New York when Jenny and Nate end their nine-year relationship; the reason the audience is led to believe is because of Jenny’s success in getting the job of her dreams across the country. The story unravels their relationship throughout the movie, but not without the comedic relief of her college besties Blair and Erin, who also struggle with in their own conflicts and relationships. The accuracy of this movie with this generation is spot-on…almost.
The Current Dating Culture
In the movie, Jenny and Nate got together a bit after they hooked up at a party. This is a common theme among how some college students find their ideal partner; a phenomena also dubbed “hook up” culture. With the development of dating apps, it has never been easier to participate in this culture. Hook ups started becoming more frequent in the 1920s from the popularity in media and entertainment, according to the American Psychological Association. Among the college student populations studied, there have been reports of at least one casual sexual experience or hook-up in each of their stories, according to Evolutionary Psychology. This isn’t necessarily wrong, unless we put meaning to it to be wrong. That’s the thing about culture, it’s always shifting. While this is the culture now, things could totally change later.
The Depiction of an LGBTQ Relationship
Netflix counts the highest number of LGBTQ characters on all streaming services and FX counts the highest number on cable networks, according to Glaad’s TV report in 2018. The character Erin identifies with the LGBTQ community and is in a relationship during the duration of the movie. The movie does a good job at portraying this without hyper sexualization and without having Erin’s sexuality be such a big deal. It does not take away the fact that representation is important, it just comes off as natural. The movie uses this opportunity to give Erin’s character depth and draw attention away from the obvious by having her face this internalized struggle within herself. I honestly wish more media featured the LGBTQ community this way, less stereotypical and more like any “normal” relationship.
The movie had a great sense of a “friends forever” dynamic. Jenny, Erin and Blair were shown to be close from college through adulthood, through thick and thin. Some friendships can be like this, but friendship is a two-way street; parties involved have to be invested as much as you are. Generally, the saying goes: the average friendship lasts seven years. However, there are others who are led to believe the circumstances create the friendship.
Break ups don’t have to have a dramatic end. The film features Jenny and Nate’s breakup and Blair and Will’s breakup. Jenny and Nate’s breakup was the center of the movie. It had to be dramatized for the sake of entertainment, but there was something real about it. The pain they felt, the emotions in their fights, and the passion. Cinematically their breakup was quite beautiful. A beautiful end to a connection two people shared. On the total other end spectrum was Blair and Will’s breakup, which ended with both parties mutually relieved to end things. This may be the case for some people who grow complacent and stay together out of comfort or history. For some, this may cause discontent, but it becomes difficult to leave and break it off. Regardless of what happens, everyone deserves to be happy, even if it means letting someone go.
My friend Ally had a difficult first month post break up, but she still had a lot going for her. Her love with her partner had been kindled at a young age. As you grow and live, you realize that the world keeps going even when you feel like you might die alone. Call it a rite of passage to go through it all? Despite all of this, we still find ourselves brave enough to jump back into life and back in love and ready to do the whole process over again. Someone Great encapsulates that strange and wonderful dynamic.