Why "Someone Great" is the f***ing worst
... And therefore the best
I have a sort of love-hate relationship with rom-coms. Seldom have ever watched a romantic comedy and thought “Well, fuck, that was a complete waste of my time” (with the exception of “Ibiza” circa 2018). Most really bad rom-coms even are still good to help take your mind off of life with sappy, boy-meets-girl story, even if you never watch it again. The good ones become your girls’ night go-tos. But, the great ones can really affect you.
Flash forward to Thursday night, my two Oregon-based friends and I got together, drinks in hand, to love the shit out of the goddess Gina Rodriguez' latest Netflix movie, "Someone Great." In the company of loving friends — Emily, Chelsea and Admiral Nelson — I was able to sit through all 90 minutes of the movie and even excuse myself without incident during one scene that I could feel wasn't gonna be good for me. "Someone Great" is the fucking worst ... And therefore the best, because while it totally triggered my depression for a hot second and brought me to tears, it could only do so because of it's authentic, fucked up depiction of what it is to lose someone you love because you just don't fit together anymore. Through emotional and raw flashbacks of Jenny (Rodriguez) and her ex Nate fighting, and loving and recognizing when they really should've let go but didn't, "Someone Great" gave possibly one of the most realistic portrayals of a breakup I've seen. Breakups aren't all the girl eating her weight in ice cream while the guy parties. They're more often than not two people pushing to keep on keeping on while also trying to figure out how to navigate life without a piece that used to feel so integral. Not because they needed it, but because it just used to fit. Sure, at times I was yelling at the screen about Rodriguez' on-screen beau being an insecure asshole for dumping her just because she was successful and her success was taking her 3,000 miles away. And I admit that some of that may have been projecting. Mr. Undecided was insecure and never seemed to actually appreciate that I had a career and had found something I was passionate about, because he hadn't. And, just saying, Nate did that too.
However, the greater story is still that Nate and Jenny had grown apart.
I'd actually been concerned for a while that Mr. Undecided felt like he'd missed out on something by being with me. He was younger than me and had liked me since he was about 17, and been with me since he was 18. He grew up (as much as he actually has) with me. And even though the way he ended things was absolutely uncondoned shit, I could see more of why we couldn't be together anymore than I wanted to come to terms with at the time.
It's so simple a fact, yet so painful a realization.
And in the midst of that pain, it's difficult to feel anything positive has resulted. In their grief, some people think they need to burn their exes out of their lives. And, while I did contemplate burning the pile of shit Mr. Undecided waited for four months to completely retrieve from our apartment, I didn't do the typical cleanse of him from my social media and delete every photo or trace of him from my devices. I literally have a folder in my Google Drive called "Compartmentalizing" that holds that part of my life. Because it still was a big part of my life. And as terrible as parts of it were, I know I wouldn't be the same person if that chapter had been excluded from my story. At one point in "Someone Great," this skeezeball character named Matt, a former crush of Jenny's, actually gets a moment to wax philosophical and tells her she was lucky to have experienced heartbreak, because that meant she really experienced love. And he was right — as much as I hate to say it because the actor portraying him gives me the creeps. Anyone who has felt actual heartbreak in their lives is, in some way, lucky. You can only know loss when you've had something to lose. And as better off as I eventually realized I was without Mr. Undecided for several reasons, I do know I only felt so sad because I had once been so happy. I had had those raw, emotional moments like Jenny and Nate's flashbacks. And because of those I tried to hold onto him for a while even after it was over. This strong-ass, sarcastic bitch was a fucking hot mess. And I definitely felt every word when Jenny finally let Nate go by writing: "Do you think I can have one more kiss? I'll find closure on your lips, and then I'll go. Maybe also one more breakfast, one more lunch, and one more dinner. I'll be full and happy and we can part. But in between meals, maybe we can lie in bed one more time. One more prolonged moment where time suspends indefinitely as I rest my head on your chest. My hope is if we add up the 'one mores' they will equal a lifetime and I'll never have to get to the part where I let you go. But that's not real is it. There are no more 'one mores.' I met you when everything was new and exciting, and the possibilities of the world seemed endless. And they still are ... for you, for me, but not for us." Not all of her letter applied to Mr. Undecided and my situation. No matter how beautiful some moments were, there were also a lot of painful, toxic and devastating ones that proved we grew apart. That line though, "I met you when everything was new and exciting, and the possibilities of the world seemed endless. And they are ... for you, for me, but not for us ...." That holds so much weight. Just as her last words on their relationship "It's not our journey anymore. It's mine." did. Because sure I do still recognize that a door shut when Mr. Undecided and I broke up. But it was like a Columbia River Gorge wind came through and while that one door shut, a thousand more swung wide open. And I've walked through a few, staying for varying amounts of time, until I found one I think is worth a longer stay. The one constant on my journey through all of those doors that always felt right was just how weightless and freeing it is to be walking through them alone.