Monday, May 31, 2010

Singles...The Quintessential Film of Gen-Xers

Well folks, this is the end of Gen-X Month as today is Memorial Day. So what have we learned as I have given a verbal ass beating to Threesome and Reality Bites and somehow managed to somewhat spare Empire Records the same abuse that I laid down? For one thing, Threesome was extremely campy, therefore, the film has some redeeming qualities, Reality Bites is easily one of the worst films of the 90's (although maybe I'm being a little unfair, since there have probably been worse, but you have to admit, the film is really annoying as hell) and Empire Records is an example of what happens when you let the studios fuck up a great premise for a film, therefore wasting the potential of film that could have been good (or somewhat plausible).

So now let's take a trip back to the film that started this whole Gen-X Film craze in the first place...Singles.

This poster is also responsible for the gritty grunge movie poster reboots that came afterwards.

This is the film that helped propel the Seattle Grunge Movement in the 90's into the mainstream for good and bad reasons. First of all, the music in this film is fantastic (for the most part) and it helped expose the audience to a lot of bands that appeared in the film such as Soundgarden, Pearl Jam and Alice In Chains. The good thing about the film helping to propel the Grunge Music movement was the exposure that these bands got. The bad things about this film was that it also aided in commercializing the sub-culture of Grunge and made Grunge into a fashion trend, something that late Nirvana frontman Kurt Cobain detested greatly. In fact it was reported that he hated this film with a passion. There is also one other bad thing that came out of the popularity of this film, but I will point it out in the end...I promise.

So anyway, let's get into the review shall we?

The film starts out with Janet Livermore (played by Bridget Fonda) who works as a barista. She is fawning over Cliff Poncier a possibly shitty local musician with the most pretentious name ever heard in film (played by an extremely hairy Matt Dillion). Poor Janet tries to woo the musician but he is more interested in his band Citizen Dick (which includes the members of Pearl Jam as his backing band and coincidently is also another band named after the function of an erect penis and the discharge it releases. Too much for you to imagine, good, because this is exactly how I felt when I saw Stephen Baldwin's naked ass! Now you will need brain bleach to get that image out of your head), and fake supermodel-like women that are way out of his league.

Janet: Is is just me or does your hair smell like weed?
Cliff: Huh?

So Cliff, being the pretentious ass that he is says that things are not working out between him and Janet. Janet is understandably distraught and decides to wax philosophical on why men are such assholes or in particular why Cliff is such an asshole.

Ladies and Gentlemen, Cliff Poncier, a real class act. By the way what the fuck is up with the portrait on the right side of this image. That portrait really likes to watch people having sex.

On the other side of the spectrum is Steve (Campbell Scott) and Linda (Kyra Sedgewick, Kevin Bacon's future wife) a couple who is trying to reassess whether or not they should stay together. Steve's best friend of course is Janet (remember this for later because this is important). Steve and Linda go through a series of discussions and conversations which will determine whether they stay together or not. At first they decide to do a trial separation. While they both strike out (well not exactly because Steve runs into Janet and hits on her, but she is interested in Dr. Jeffery Jamison (Bill Pullman, yes THE Bill Pullman from Spaceballs)), they decide to go home separately. Then Linda finds out that she is pregnant with Steve's child (oh shit, this sounds like an episode of Maury waiting to happen). Steve is shocked, but he decides to try and fix things with Linda. Of course he and Linda were driving to the doctor's office when a car hit them from behind which later on at the doctor's office, Linda finds out that she has lost the baby. Strangely enough, this brings Steve and Linda closer together and brings them back together.

Steve: So are you all set to appear on this week's Maury Povich?

While this was happening, Cliff and his band Citizen Dick were getting ready for a performance at Vogue (why they would name a Grunge Club after a Madonna Song is beyond me). Of course they get into a disagreement about creative differences (this is how a lot of great bands break up by the way) while enjoying cameos from Alice In Chains and Soundgarden among many other notable musicians from the Seattle music scene.

Eddie Vedder: Dude! The gig starts in three hours and you haven't rehearsed at all?!
Cliff: Shhhhh! I'm trying to remember the lyrics to Twinkle Twinkle Little Star!

Of course when you have Matt Dillion fronting a band

I can get laid cause I got long hair and a goatee! The 90's is going to be awesome!

with members of Pearl Jam...

Seriously! Who the fuck names a Grunge Club after a Madonna song?!

You are guaranteed that it is going to be shit for the most part.

The film then goes back to Janet and her date with Jefferey. Of course things don't really work out because there really is no chemistry. So Janet decides that she is better off single and pays Steve a visit to see how he is doing. After she and Steve exchange quips and witty conversation, Steve kisses her. They both realize that they have been attracted to one another, but also acknowledge the fact that they can't be together due to the circumstances that surround them.

In the end, Steve and Linda get back together and Janet and Cliff run into each other in the elevator and decide to give their relationship another go after Cliff apologizes to Janet and says "kazuntite" after Janet sneezes.

Simply put, this film is the best of the Gen-X films that came out of the 90's. Reality Bites and Threesome were imitators of this film which those films were terrible by all accounts. All of the characters act like normal human beings and go through the same issues as everyone else. They are all relate-able and even though Cliff is an ass at the beginning of the film, he eventually realizes the error of his ways and re prioritizes what is more important in his life, which shows growth and maturity in his character. The music as I mentioned previously is fantastic and really captures the Grunge era perfectly. In fact this film is one of the best reference films for the 90's and its actually the most realistic of all the Gen-X films n terms of characters and plot.

However, there is one other really bad thing that came out of this film and it has plagued Cameron Crowe and millions of people alike since this film became a success. Warner Bros. wanted to turn Singles into a television series. When Cameron Crowe heard about this, he absolutely hated the idea and said that he was not interested (I have to give him credit on that call). In a dick move worthy of a lot of the worst dick moves in history, Warner Bros. decided to go through with the idea. They hired a new writing and directing team and produced one of the worst abominations known to mankind in the history of civilization...

The servants of the Devil.

That's right, Singles is solely responsible for the most annoying, biggest piece of shit that humanity has ever produced...Friends. Now do you understand why the 90's was a really shitty decade for Film and TV?

I'm Maricruz Gonzalez and I'm the Movie Bitch, because somebody has to be.

Stay Sassy Planet Earth.

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