Starring: Gina Rodriguez, Brittany Snow, DeWanda Wise
Director: Jennifer Kaytin Robinson
Running Time: 92 mins
Someone Great is an American film about a woman who, after breaking up with her boyfriend of nine years, prepares to move across the country for her new job, but not before she has one last adventure with her best friends.
Netflix have a seemingly incessant roster of romantic comedies on release, and most of them are far from the highest quality that we’ve seen from the studio. Saying that, however, Someone Great impresses in a way that a number of other Netflix rom-coms have failed, with a trio of thoroughly likable lead characters, engaging drama, and a good capacity to change up what can be considered as the ultimate romantic comedy formula.
First things first, though, the film’s strongest suit has to be its immense likability. Rom-coms can be enjoyable, but you need characters that you can sympathise with and support, something that this film really does well.
That’s in part down to a trio of really great performances, with Gina Rodriguez, Brittany Snow and DeWanda Wise all proving charismatic and energising presences throughout. And while the dynamic of the three is a little on the simple side – we’ve seen the undying loyalty of best friends before, and it isn’t all that riveting – each of those performances has something striking and outstanding about it, making the lead characters a real joy to follow.
Another plus in terms of the film’s likability factor comes in its approach to what is generally a painfully predictable and often even whiney formula. Movies about break-ups certainly have good value, but too often do they take a really negative perspective on the whole situation.
Someone Great, however, manges to avoid being a self-indulgent, whiney mess that just tries to make you feel sorry for its main character. Instead, at the same time as acknowledging the pain of a break-up, the film is actually about so much more than just that, with the majority of its story dedicated to the relationship between the three best friends.
Now, as I said, that core story isn’t immensely complex or challenging, but what it does allow for is a very positive and pleasant story. Sure, there are ups and downs throughout, but the film’s heart is really in the right place, making for a far more enjoyable and engaging watch than the typical self-loathing style of the genre.
Saying that, where Someone Great does fall down is on the comedic side of things, failing to live up to its pleasantly likable persona with humour that is just a little predictable.
It’s not terrible, and I found myself smiling and giggling a few times throughout, however the film lacks the comedic punch to really make up for what is occasionally a less-than-exhilarating story, with the majority of the movie then carried by the lighter, more likable of things.
In the end, I had fun with Someone Great. It’s not the most hilarious comedy you’ll ever see, not the most riveting emotional drama. However, it far surpasses a number of other rom-coms with its thoroughly likable air of positivity and energy, turning an often irritating premise into an immensely enjoyable one, and that’s why I’m giving it a 7.5 overall.