Netflix has released a rom-com that doesn’t romanticize relationships.
Director and writer Jennifer Kaytin Robinson has created “Someone Great,” a romantic comedy that’s deeper than most.
Robinson’s directorial debut, released April 19, stars Gina Rodriguez (“Jane the Virgin”) as Jenny Young, a New York City-based music journalist with a great boyfriend and two great friends, Erin Kennedy (DeWanda Wise, Netflix’s “She’s Gotta Have It”) and Blair Helms (Brittany Snow, “Pitch Perfect” film series).
Jenny’s life is rocked when she receives great news: She lands her dream job of writing for Rolling Stone magazine, but there’s a catch — the job’s in San Francisco, but her life is in New York.
When she tells her boyfriend, Nate Davis (Lakeith Stanfield, “Sorry to Bother You”), of her new opportunity, he promptly breaks up with her, leaving Jenny utterly heartbroken.
The film begins after the break-up, and the story of their long-term relationship is then told to the audience through flashbacks.
Viewers first meet Jenny when she’s drinking alone at a train station with mascara running down her face and her hair and clothing soaked from the rain.
The next day, after a night of crying, drinking and eating Cheetos, Erin and Blair reach out to Jenny and attempt to console her. To help mend her broken heart, the women decide to pursue a final night of mayhem and margaritas before Jenny leaves for California.
The film obviously centers on relationships, but it works differently than most. In “Someone Great,” Jenny is heartbroken over losing Nate, but she — as well as Erin and Blair — all have lives outside of their significant others.
All three women have great careers, and the lovers in their lives aren’t the center of their entire universes, which is an idea most rom-coms fail to convey.
During her writing and directing of the film, Robinson clearly made a very purposeful decision to create dynamic, multifaceted characters that are more than just pretty women seeking romantic or sexual relationships. They’re smart, they’re funny, they know what they want and they take no less than what they deserve.
“Someone Great” is a smart film created by a smart woman that acknowledges the equal importance of both romantic and platonic relationships. The film subtly speaks volumes on gender equality by casting strong, intelligent women who do more than talk about men.
Additionally, “Someone Great” is also forward-thinking in its approach to race.
Each of the three leading women are of different races and look completely different from one another. Jenny and Nate, though they are broken up in the film, still represent an interracial relationship in modern-day society.
There’s even obvious representation of nonheterosexual love in the film, and it isn’t treated as something odd, weird or uncommon. The character doesn’t make a big deal about “coming out,” and they do not display any shame in regards to their sexuality. They just are what they are, and that’s what more filmmakers need to remember.
Robinson has created a film that speaks volumes. It’s racially and sexually diverse, and it promotes gender equality. Even better, it speaks these ideas while making its audience laugh, cry and reminisce about the great loves of their own lives.
“Someone Great” is something great.