Netflix’s new original movie “Someone Great” presents a simple straightforward plot with great performances, and a sincere depiction of the end of a love story instead of its beginning. “Someone Great” truly captures the sensation of mourning and loss which comes from the end of a chapter in life. Jenny (Gina Rodriguez) just broke up with her long-time boyfriend Nate (Lakeith Stanfield). She’s leaving New York City, where she went to college, met Nate and her best friends Erin (Dewanda Jackson) and Blair (Brittany Snow). She’s moving to San Francisco. It’s time to say goodbye to everything she’s known and grown to love.
Jenny plans a night in NYC, one last night. She needs one more to remember all that’s been, to be sad it’s over, but to rejoice that it happened. One dialogue captures the film in its entirety. Jenny is talking to Matt (Peter Vack), a guy she had a crush on her freshman year of college. She tells him it’s all his fault; she wouldn’t have met Nate if it wasn’t for him. At the end of the conversation Matt tells her he’s sorry. Jenny, however, changed her mind. She says: “Don’t be. You’ve helped me find Nate.” Matt tells her she’s been blessed with a broken heart. Being sad when something is over means you’ve been happy because it has happened. That is life, in all its beauty and all its sorrow.
Jenny is exuberant, sad, in denial, in love, angry, and broken hearted. It always rings true, sincere and honest. The love in Nate’s eyes is real and perceptible. You can feel it penetrate your skin as he looks towards the audience, actually looking at Jenny. The sadness in both their eyes is deep, you can sink in it. That is exactly how sadness and loss feel; it’s a sinking dark hole. “Someone Great” is bittersweet. It’s not sad, as both their lives are not over. It’s not despair that you feel. It’s melancholy and nostalgia.
This review is for the Equinox, a college newspaper. “Someone Great” is about the journey you take, in your heart and soul, as you leave a place where you’ve grown. Jenny met her friends in college. Jenny met her boyfriend in college. Jenny met New York City in college. Jenny met Jenny in college. This one last day is to remember who she is and who she’s become. That Jenny that once was is gone. Yet, she will live forever in Jenny’s memory, with her the love she shared with Nate. If you’re graduating, “Someone Great” might be the companion you need. If there is still time, it might remind you to enjoy it, to live in the now. If you’ve graduated a while ago, “Someone Great” will be a journey across your memories in the shadow of Jenny doing the same.
“Someone Great” holds an 83 percent rating based on 42 reviews on site aggregator Rotten Tomatoes. “Someone Great” is not a masterpiece of cinema. Yet, it is a pleasant story. It is well built and well-acted, but most importantly, its sincere and incredibly relatable.
Jacqueline Pantano can be contacted at