Man, it’s great to be happily married. My wife and I always say how we can’t even imagine dealing with the dating scene as adults. As people get older, they get set into their ways, unable to be open to adapting to a new personality. They collect more and more baggage along the way. And they begin to over think things, panicking as the doom of their biological clock rings in their heads.
So, with that, it’s also entertaining watching people try to navigate the waters of single-ness in film. Especially when presented so smartly and non-cliched.
Who better to give us that than writer/director Cameron Crowe? He’s always known how to convey relationship struggles in such a real way. Never too familiar where we feel like we’ve seen it a million times. But never too raw where some may feel alienated. So that even a guy like myself, who’s been with the same woman for over a decade, can still empathize with these scenarios.
Amidst the genius writing, Singles is a portrait of the Seattle grunge scene in 1992. The movie doesn’t have to have this setting, but it does anyway. Even further setting Singles apart from its contemporaries. Making the film an isolated zeitgeist of that time. In 1992, this backdrop was topical. Now, it’s nostalgic.
Singles shows the ins and outs of the love lives of a group of twenty-somethings who all live in the same apartment building. Depicted in interwoven vignettes with interjections where the character-at-hand breaks the fourth wall to explain his or her situation.
Among these individuals is Steve, portrayed by Campbell Scott, who gets into a relationship with Linda (Kyra Sedgwick). Steve is our de facto main character. Though Scott doesn’t take notes from every male lead who has come before him. He doesn’t give a foamy performance, trying to subliminally win us over at every second by being a little too conveniently charismatic. He’s about as real as you can get.
Each of these characters has so many levels. Many of which are never reached here, because they don’t have to be.
The story is fun and the humor holds up, satirizing the clueless and sympathizing with the eager and the heedful.
Singles isn’t a chick flick. It shares similar themes and has every right to call itself one, but you never once think about that while watching the story unfold.
Even when some of the performances don’t quite match the level of the writing, we forget quickly. Often times with below-par acting, a sleek script comes off as robotic. The words can’t necessarily be given the proper recitation. That just comes with the territory. But when the story is this good, those things don’t really matter much.