There is one good reason to give the platform Netflix a whirl (you can cancel at any time), and that reason is the romantic comedy “Someone Great” which is—hold on to your socks—great viewing for men and women. It’s so good (yes, it’s that good) that you will want to watch it more than once.
It stars Gina Rodriguez as Jenny, a 30-something who is deeply feeling her breakup with Nate (Lakeith Stanfield), her boyfriend of the last nine years. It’s not as if something horrible happened to break up their love nest. No baby mama drama. No third party interjection unless you call life and getting your dream job at Rolling Stone and moving from New York to San Francisco the “other woman or another man.”
To get her through one of the worst days of her young life are her two best friends Erin (DeWanda Wise) and Blair
The movie is packed with clever flashbacks that show the best and the worst of Jenny and Nate’s relationship. Here’s where sharing the smart dialogue would be helpful in helping you really understand why this film works for both men and women. It’s fair—please, lift your jaws from the floor.
Our girl Jenny knows that a man does not complete her and that she will be just fine on her own. Well—she has her ride-or-die best friends, and that kind of love and support is like having clean oxygen.
We spoke with the writer, director of “Someone Great,” Jennifer Kaytin Robinson, about how she made such a wonderfully balanced, funny, and diverse movie in a time when Hollywood doesn’t seem to understand how to exactly pull that off. Here is an edited excerpt from our phone conversation.
AmNews: Hello, I’m your new best friend.
Jennifer Kaytin Robinson: (laughing) Thank you. How are you?
AMN: I’m still laughing at your wonderful film “Someone Great” and may I add, I can’t believe how flipping good the writing is! It’s like you wrote the film just for me.
JKR: Thank you, well I did. I did write it for women so yes, I did.
AMN: You can’t read a newsfeed without Hollywood echoing their commitment to diversity and inclusion but rarely doing anything about it. Plus your film is stunning, thank you new BFF. Your message of love is very layered.
JKR: You are welcome. First, a man does not complete you. That doesn’t mean you can’t have an amazing man or woman or gender non-binary person by your side in life. But I really wanted to make a romantic comedy that was rooted in self-love, and about choosing yourself.
AMN: Talk about self-love—your casting is perfect. Details, please.
JKR: Gina, DeWanda, Brittany, and I have such an amazing, strong bond, and the characters have such a strong bond in the script. They made it easy. Friendships aren’t always rainbows and sunshine, but always, always, always rooted in that really deep place of love and sisterhood.
AMN: Exactly, if you were a chemistry teacher, you’d make something explode with Gina, DeWanda, and Brittany. Am I right?
JKR: They clicked. Gina and DeWanda went to NYU together and as two women of color, they had a bond that’s over 10 years old. I’ve known Brittany since we were 18. Right before we started shooting, the four of us went to brunch together. And we were loud but we all knew the movie was going to be one of the most rewarding experiences. It honestly felt like lightning-in-a-bottle magic. Casting the three of them—they fit so perfectly and so seamlessly and disappear into each of these characters in such an amazing way that it’s hard to say why it happened. I couldn’t see anyone else as Jenny, Erin, or Blair. There just is no one else that could have possibly worn these characters.
AMN: Please give me more on the diversity that’s reflected in your movie. All joking aside, thank you, Jennifer Kaytin Robinson.
JKR: You are so welcome, Lapacazo. Did I say that right?
AMN: We are BFF now, it’s all good!
JFR: The movie takes place in New York City, one of the most diverse places on the planet.
AMN: Tell Hollywood that—oops—I talked over you. I shall be silent, go!
JKR: Since it’s shot in New York it was a no-brainer to me to make sure that this movie reflected the audience it was for. For a very long time, we’ve seen a lot of movies that have a narrow view and lens, and that is representing a very specific type [of person], whether it’s race, gender, or sexuality. I wanted this movie to reflect all the people that it’s for and to have it feel very inclusive, but without it feeling like a political statement. It’s just a movie about love and friendship, and we happened to be able to cast really, really incredible people who are diverse and who make this movie feel correct and inclusive and wonderful.
AMN: “Someone Great” is now my go-to movie. I play it in the background to keep me company when I am lonely.
JKR: Yeah? Oh, that’s nice to hear. Thank you. It’s exciting to share this film and have women and men feel really seen by it.