We were reminded by a deadCENTER programmer before the screening of Some Girl(s) that the film is a comedy. Half way through the film I realized he had to tell us or else we wouldn’t have known to laugh. The programmer also informed us the director was in attendance — cue an audience awkwardly forcing itself to chuckle at a shallow, inert film lacking any semblance of wit or understanding of how human relationships work.
Adam Brody plays a man in his early thirties who’s writing has finally taken off. Engaged to a woman ten years his junior, he decides now is the time to visit some of his ex-girlfriends and try to make amends for any wrongdoings he may have committed against them in the past. He still feels guilty for leaving his college girlfriend, Bobbi (Kristen Bell), and by the end of the film we find out this whole making amends act is a subconscious effort to win her back. It’s as unbearable as it sounds.
Being based on a play (by Neil LaBute — who also wrote the screenplay), Some Girl(s) is structured differently than traditional romantic comedies. Each conversation the man has with a past relation acts as a separate episode in the progression of the story. Thus, the film is a barrage of stopping-starting momentum, unable to compel or really say anything of any significance.
But the film isn’t a complete waste. The scene the man shares with his high school best friend’s little sister (Zoe Kazan) is not only striking in its tonal difference from the rest of the film, but much more successful in engaging in dramatic conflict. Fast forward to that part, watch it, and turn the movie off. Don’t allow the rest of Some Girl(s) to sully the poignancy and depth of this scene.
Some Girl(s) manages to be as pretentious and unlikable as its main character. The directors, Daisy von Scherler Mayer, stated that she wanted to film Some Girl(s) because so many of Neil LaBute’s plays are chauvinistic — but this is the one where the girls get payback. Well, I hate you break it to you, Daisy, but Some Girl(s) is hopelessly chauvinistic. Adam Brody’s character learns nothing and the audience feels as betrayed as one of his many scorned lovers.