The Long Plot, Sans Spoilers
We start with a flashback, a rose-colored-glasses look at Jenny (Gina Rodriguez) and Nate's (LaKeith Stanfield) relationship before we are quickly let in on the fact that they've broken up. Jenny is a mess, her mascara is running down her cheeks, she's talking to a stranger at a subway station, and she's reminiscing the past via her relationship's social media footprint, text messages, and Spotify playlist.
For the rest of the movie, interspersed with what's happening in the present, we are treated to a screening of The Jenny and Nate Show via flashbacks. Every song, every place, every person remind Jenny of him, the sadness always threatening to overwhelm her.
Her pals Erin (DeWanda Wise) and Blair (Brittany Snow), who are both having some relationship drama of their own, figure out the bad news before Jenny even Facetimes them, thanks to her not-so-cryptic IG Story. She calls them up in need of some emotional support and tells them they're all going out to attend Neon Classic, a music pop-up show of the music festival they used to go to. (And if you think it can't possibly get any more millennial than that, hold on to your nips.) In the meantime, she needs them to call in sick at work and come to her place for mimosas.
Erin is game, but Blair says she can't ditch work and will just have to catch up with them after office hours. When Jenny and Erin find out they've been bumped off the invite list to Neon Classic, they rope in Blair—or rather her alter ego Bad Blair—on a mission to get tickets to the show because Jenny is adamant they go.
Unfortunately, the Craigslist dude they were going to buy the tickets from turns out to be #fakenews (but at least they got Beyoncé weed). On their way out of sketchy Craigslist dude's place, they bump into Nate's cousin Hannah (Rosario Dawson), and she inadvertently reveals that pre-breakup, Jenny and Nate made plans to attend Neon Classic together.
This piece of news sets her friends' alarm bells ringing, but Jenny reassures them that this is going to be a girls' night out, one last hurrah before she moves to San Francisco. Who cares about Nate? (Three guesses who, guys. Winner gets Beyoncé weed.)
Luckily, Jenny's college crush, the obnoxious Matt (Peter Vack), scored them wristbands. Blair volunteers to pick them up, and that's when we discover what Bad Blair has been up to. Meanwhile, Jenny and Erin head over to Hype's (RuPaul) place to buy some molly then to the boutique Leah, Erin's "not-girlfriend," owns for some cool threads.
When the three meet up again, we get an obligatory dress-up montage (this is a rom-com after all)—and a Selena-singalong for added measure—before they make their way to Neon Classic. Of course, nothing goes as planned, but somehow things work out for the better. You know, because friendship is magic.
The Short, Honest Plot
Music journalist Jenny scores her dream job at Rolling Stone, which means she's going to have to say goodbye to her beloved New York and move across the country to San Francisco. Rather than do the LDR thing, her boyfriend Nate ends their nine-year romance, which sends Jenny spiraling into a millennial meltdown.
She calls her besties Erin and Blair to keep her mind off her heartache, proposes they have one last girls' night out before she leaves for good. Her friends go all in, the way good friends do when you're getting over a breakup.
And although things don't go exactly as expected, Jenny realizes she can face her new beginning, that she's going to be okay, especially since she has two best friends to hold her hand along the way.
The Actors And Where You Last Saw Them
Gina Rodriguez as Jenny
People know her best from her titular role in Jane The Virgin, but you may have also seen her in the recent Natalie Portman-led Annihilation, and caught her guest spot in Brooklyn Nine-Nine last season.
Brittany Snow as Blair
Her breakout role was in the TV show American Dreams, but you're more likely to remember her as Chloe from the Pitch Perfect movies.
DeWanda Wise as Erin
She stars in the Spike Lee TV adaptation of She's Gotta Have It, and has appeared in Boardwalk Empire and The Good Wife.
LaKeith Stanfield as Nate
He played Snoop in Straight Outta Compton and starred in Get Out, Selma, and the TV series Atlanta.
Peter Vack as Matt
You may know him from the drama series Homeland, starring alongside Claire Danes.
Did You Know?
1. The soundtrack came before the stars. Writer and director Jennifer Kaytin Robinson tells Rolling Stone that Lorde's "Supercut" was written into the movie way before she even cast anyone.
2. Gina Rodriguez also serves as producer of the movie, along with a few others including Paul Feig, the producer and director of Bridesmaids, the all-female Ghostbusters, and A Simple Favor.
3. Joe LoCicero, who has a bit part in the movie, is married to Gina Rodriguez. See if you can spot him.
What My Friends Think:
"I liked it because it wasn't your typical romantic comedy. It was more about Jenny's growth as a person without her ex, and that was more realistic than other romantic movies out there. It was also fun seeing her surrounded by her best friends as she tried to get over her breakup." —Pandan Adan
"Someone Great is more than just your ordinary girls-night-out movie. It's a fresh and raw take on heartbreak, friendship, and growing up. I love how the stories of the characters are so relatable and the characters are all realistic—like they're people you actually know. And I don't know if it's because I'm also getting over a breakup, but the scenes showing Jenny and Nate's relationship (from how they started and ended) hit right in the feels! The soundtrack is amazing, too. Watch it if you're a sucker for chick flicks like me and if you want to laugh and ugly cry at the same time." —Sharlene Calderon
What I Think:
Better than most rom-coms that have come out on Netflix, Someone Great feels a little more grounded if not in reality (that's too much neon lighting to be real), then at least in truth. I love that the love story is less about Jenny and Nate and more about her friendship with Erin and Blair.
Sometimes though it seems like it wants to be two different movies—a sad romance and a girls-night-out comedy. And because the two never really blend together seamlessly, it feels like I watched one-half of two different movies, even if both storylines were neatly tied up in the end. It may not break the mold of sad romances or gal-pal comedies, but it does manage to offer up something fresh and different.
And to be honest, I don't know who the title is referring to. Is it Nate? Because when they were together, he was pretty great. Some people don't buy their love story, but I do. And even in the end, he never felt like a bad guy to me.
Is it Erin and Blair? Because the movie succeeds the most when it focuses on the love story between the three friends. I love that their relationship pushed all of them to grow up. There's honesty and acceptance. It was nice to see that even when there was drama between them, you could tell it came from a place of love.
Side note: The three actresses really sell the friendship and their closeness; that's why it works. You believe them when they say they love each other. The way they talk to each other with ease, joke around, call each other out—it all seems so genuine.
Back to the title: Or is it referring to Jenny herself? Because in the end, she realizes that, with or without Nate, she's someone great all on her own. That essay she writes on the subway is so beautiful. It encapsulates the feels you get when you realize that a breakup, no matter how painful, is the best thing to have happened to you. That's great breakup writing right there.
In fact, the writing overall was really good. Almost everything sounded plausible, like you could believe a group of friends really behaving that way and saying the things they say. I just wish the combination of the two movie genres worked together more seamlessly. But that's just a minor gripe.
I'd Recommend It To:
Girl friends looking for a movie to screen at their adult slumber party, someone struggling to get through a difficult breakup, or friends of someone going through a difficult breakup.