Film review: Breaking up is hard to do

A still from ‘Someone Great.’ (Supplied)
Updated 15 May 2019

Film review: Breaking up is hard to do

  • The film explores the friendship of three women in New York
  • It also explores the personal lives of the two supporting characters

“Someone Great,” the story of a young music critic struggling to end a nine-year relationship, arrives on Netflix at a time when films on female bonding are not exactly common.

There may have been “Girls Trip” or “Rough Night,” but in “Someone Great,” writer-director Jennifer Kaytin Robinson digs deeper into the camaraderie that women share as they face a turning point in their lives, with Gina Rodriguez playing the carefree Jenny in a very different role from her 2014 “Jane the Virgin.”

The film focuses on three friends living it up for one last night in New York before Jenny leaves for a dream job in San Francisco. Blair (Brittany Snow) and Erin (DeWanda Wise) try to comfort Jenny after a bad break-up with her former boyfriend Nate (Lakeith Stanfield). However, as the three women party through the night, Jenny struggles to keep memories of her former flame at bay.

However, “Someone Great” is not just about Jenny, but also looks at the dilemmas facing the two other central women, exploring their relationships and struggles, and neatly revealing their desire to break free as well as their inability to do so. They may play the typical “supportive best friends” that we are used to seeing in romcoms, but each has their their own problems — a refreshing approach in an often one-dimensional genre. 

Robinson, who had long wanted to make a movie on the influence of music on her life (the title is from a song with the same name), steers her story deftly, creating characters that young adults can identify with and delivering a sweetly sad narrative of fractured relationships. However, “Someone Great” is also painfully trendy at times, with a plot that is occasionally too light-headed to strike the right note.


Plastic particles in drinking water present ‘low’ risk — World Health Organization

Updated 49 min 4 sec ago

Plastic particles in drinking water present ‘low’ risk — World Health Organization

  • WHO issues first report on microplastics in drinking water
  • Reassures consumers that risk is low, but says more study needed
GENEVA: Microplastics contained in drinking water pose a “low” risk to human health at current levels, but more research is needed to reassure consumers, the World Health Organization (WHO) said on Thursday.
Studies over the past year on plastic particles detected in tap and bottled water have sparked public concerns but the limited data appears reassuring, the UN agency said its first report on potential health risks associated with ingestion.
Microplastics enter drinking water sources mainly through run-off and wastewater effluent, the WHO said. Evidence shows that microplastics found in some bottled water seem to be at least partly due to the bottling process and/or packaging such as plastic caps, it said.
“The headline message is to reassure drinking water consumers around the world, that based on this assessment, our assessment of the risk is that it is low,” Bruce Gordon of the WHO’s department of public health, environmental and social determinants of health, told a briefing.
The WHO did not recommended routine monitoring for microplastics in drinking water. But research should focus on issues including what happens to chemical additives in the particles once they enter the gastrointestinal tract, it said.
The majority of plastic particles in water are larger than 150 micrometers in diameter and are excreted from the body, while “smaller particles are more likely to cross the gut wall and reach other tissues,” it said.
Health concerns have centered around smaller particles, said Jennifer De France, a WHO technical expert and one of the report’s authors.
“For these smallest size particles, where there is really limited evidence, we need know more about what is being absorbed, the distribution and their impacts,” she said.
More research is needed into risks from microplastics exposure throughout the environment — “in our drinking water, air and food,” she added.
Alice Horton, a microplastics researcher at Britain’s National Oceanography Center, said in a statement on the WHO’s findings: “There are no data available to show that microplastics pose a hazard to human health, however this does not necessarily mean that they are harmless.”
“It is important to put concerns about exposure to microplastics from drinking water into context: we are widely exposed to microplastics in our daily lives via a wide number of sources, of which drinking water is just one.”
Plastic pollution is so widespread in the environment that you may be ingesting five grams a week, the equivalent of eating a credit card, a study commissioned by the environmental charity WWF International said in June. That study said the largest source of plastic ingestion was drinking water, but another major source was shellfish.
The biggest overall health threat in water is from microbial pathogens — including from human and livestock waste entering water sources — that cause deadly diarrheal disease, especially in poor countries lacking water treatment systems, the WHO said.
Some 2 billion people drink water contaminated with faeces, causing nearly 1 million deaths annually, Gordon said, adding: “That has got to be the focus of regulators around the world.”