Netflix has been spending billions of dollars each year producing original content, and a majority of these programs are coming from diverse voices and star diverse characters. A great example of this is “Someone Great,” which dropped on the streaming service April 19.
The rom-com is written and directed by Jennifer Kaytin Robinson in her directorial debut. It features Gina Rodriguez (“Jane the Virgin,” “Annihilation”) as the lead, and DeWanda Wise (“She’s Gotta Have It”) and Brittany Snow (“Pitch Perfect,” “John Tucker Must Die”) as her best friends. Lakeith Stanfield (“Sorry to Bother You”) is the main love interest, and there are cameos from RuPaul and Questlove.
“Someone Great” is a body of work that embodies its diverse cast. These characters feel like they were written with their race in mind, not just diversely cast because the studio decided it would be a good idea to throw some color in there.
The film is also a rom-com written that embodies our times. Gina Rodriguez stars as Jenny Young, a Rolling Stone journalist who has just landed a promotion that will move her across the country. It is her dream job, but it has led to the end of her nine year relationship. The film follows her and her two best friends on their big last night out before Jenny moves. Flashbacks to the Jenny’s relationship are interspersed throughout the film triggered by different elements whether it be a song, photo or place.
“Someone Great” excels because of the chemistry between Rodriguez, Wise and Snow. The three easily convince you that they have been best friends for many years. Their ability to play off each other creates the majority of the comedic moments throughout.
The friendship is also the basis of love for the movie. This is, after all, a rom-com about a break up. The love that these three girls have for each other is what Robinson chooses to showcase in her story: a bond that won’t fade despite the distance.
Wise and Snow’s characters also get their own relationship plotlines. Wise’s character, Erin, refuses to call the woman she has been consistently seeing over the past four months her girlfriend. Snow’s character, Blair, has perhaps held on to her current relationship a bit to long, and has a new spark with a friend from college.
But the best part of the movie is its soundtrack. In fact, music takes a central role throughout the movie. Jenny is a music journalist at Rolling Stone, and the plan for their final night out is a pop-up music event called “Neon Classic,” which the girls have made a habit of attending over their years in New York.
Robinson carefully chose excellent songs to fill moments on screen. The story of Jenny’s relationship is told in the exposition via a supercut of moments over the nine years to Lorde’s “Supercut.” Rodriguez and Wise jam out in the kitchen to “Truth Hurts” by Lizzo. “Dreaming of You” by Selena is sung into a cheese stick in a bodega.
Other modern female artists like Mitski and Phoebe Bridger fill out the soundtrack. It is music that these characters would actually be listening to, and music that helps convey the weight of these moments on screen.
“Someone Great” is definitely not all laughs. It is equally heavy as it is funny. Rodriguez shines both in her comedic and dramatic moments. She fully displays the highs and lows of a fresh breakup. Her performance will definitely tug on heartstrings.
The movie is one of the best to come out of the revival of the rom-com genre. It is a remarkably fresh take on the genre, and it brings fresh faces to the forefront. This is a film you can watch before you and your best friends head out for the night, or alone after your big night out when you need a little cry before bed.