Confessions of a Film Junkie: A Review of “Singles”
By: Brian Cotnoir
In the early 1990’s the “Grunge Scene” in Seattle had swept the country. It was only a matter of time before a movie was made about the grunge scene. Then in 1992 the film “Singles”, a film written and directed by Cameron Crowe, was released. Even though “Singles” is a romantic-comedy you definitely get that “mock-umentary” vibe from the film. Throughout the film the cast talks into the camera is if their characters are real people and the film you are watching is a documentary about life in Seattle during the grunge scene.
The characters in “Singles” pretty much have the same story; six 20-something, out of college people living in Seattle and trying to find themselves and love. You have Campbell Scott & Kyra Sedgwick’s characters’, who are both neurotic neo-hippies desperately seeking love, while at the same time trying to appear as if they don’t really care about love. Then you have Matt Dillon & Bridget Fonda’s characters’. Matt Dillon’s character’s name is Cliff; a young amateur musician in Seattle who works a variety of odd jobs to pay his bills and support his band. Bridget Fonda’s character is named Janet, and she is Cliff’s “girlfriend”, even though he doesn’t acknowledge her as his girlfriend. Janet is a perky and friendly girl who adores Cliff and is always their supporting him and his band. Finally, there are Bill Pullman & Shelia Kelley’s characters’. These are the only two main characters’ in the movie that don’t end up together. Bill Pullman’s character is a young tech savvy, hipster type guy, who enjoys watching French films and Shelia Kelley’s character, is named Debbie and she manages an independent Coffee shop where Cliff and Janet work. Debbie is a “modern woman” who is looking to find the love of her life. The film mainly focuses on Campbell Scott & Kyra Sedgwick’s characters, but does digress away from them from time to time to focus on the other characters.
One great thing about “Singles” is the celebrity cameos. Seattle bands “Alice in Chains” & “Soundgarden” both perform in this movie, as well as contribute to the films soundtrack. Chris Cornell of Soundgarden has a brief cameo in one scene and Cliff’s other band mates are Eddie Vedder, Stone Gossard, and Jeff Ament all of the band Pearl Jam, and if you pay close attention to the scene where Debbie is at the video dating service building you can see film director Tim Burton sitting in the background reading a magazine.
All and all “Singles” is a good movie. Director Cameron Crowe did a great job making this film, which would later provide the inspiration of the hit primetime television show “Friends”. The only other positive thing I have to say about this film is it’s a nice anthropological glimpse at the not too distant past.