Someone Great is approximately 90 percent romance and comedy, but it still sounds wrong to call it a rom-com. Writer-director’s Jennifer Kaytin Robinson’s big-screen debut feels like a newer breed of movie: the scrappy female-POV in which the love story at the center is as much about friendship or the face in the mirror as it is about any one man. (Though men still matter too.)
Jane the Virgin star Gina Rodriguez is Jenny, a Manhattan music journalist on the cusp of 30 who’s just landed her dream job — in San Francisco. That means leaving her beloved city, her best friends Erin (DeWanda Wise) and Blair (Brittany Snow), and Nate, her boyfriend of nine years (Sorry to Bother You’s Lakeith Stanfield).
Nate, it turns out, doesn’t want to do long-distance, so when he breaks it off with Jenny on the eve of her move, she decides to plow through the wreckage by having One Last Epic Night in New York. Cue the wistful college flashbacks, the breakup-induced day-drinking, and the quixotic hunt for exotic party drugs and VIP tickets to a (fictional) Brooklyn music festival called Neon Classic.
It’s not a whole lot to hang a plot on, and the seams of Kaytin Robinson’s scant script tend to show. But there’s plenty of loony chemistry to fill in the gaps, mostly emanating from its three headlining women: She’s Gotta Have It’s Wise, fantastic as a dry-witted lesbian with pathological commitment issues; Pitch Perfect alum Snow, a type-A blonde who gets a lot more fun after two shots of tequila; and Rodriguez, the kind of endearingly flawed heroine you feel like you’d actually want to lay on the floor with on a hungover Sunday.
Their combined charm offensive is enough to carry Someone through 92 minutes of molly-fueled misadventures, random cameos (RuPaul and Rosario Dawson among them), and bodega-aisle dance scenes. If shrewd one-liners and small moments ultimately override the episodic narrative, Someone‘s takeaway — that love is a messy, splendored thing, and “happily ever after” is just a story that hasn’t finished yet — feels refreshing modern and true. B+