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.


Iraq Pavilion at Venice Biennale shuts in solidarity with protesters

The Iraq Pavilion at the Venice Biennale has shut down in solidarity with protesters. Supplied
Updated 13 November 2019

Iraq Pavilion at Venice Biennale shuts in solidarity with protesters

  • In a show of solidarity with anti-government protestors, the Iraq Pavilion at the Venice Biennale has shut down
  • Initially set to run until Nov. 24, the exhibition entitled “Fatherland” was closed on Nov. 5.

DUBAI: Iraq is currently in the midst of ongoing anti-government protests that have claimed the lives of more than 260 Iraqis since they erupted earlier this month. In a show of solidarity, the Iraq Pavilion at the Venice Biennale has shut down.

Initially set to run until Nov. 24, the exhibition entitled “Fatherland” was closed on Nov. 5.

“Fatherland” is a collection of expressionist paintings by Iraqi-Kurdish artist Serwan Baran that were commissioned by Baghdad-based non-profit organization the Ruya Foundation, which in an official statement shared that the move was to show support to “the popular youth uprisings that have erupted in Iraq against state corruption and deteriorating economic and living conditions.”

“We condemn the use of violence against peaceful protesting, and the bloodshed that has led to the death of over 265 protesters so far,” read the statement shared on the organization’s Twitter account. “Peaceful protesting is a basic right, enshrined in Article 38.c of the Iraqi Constitution.”

“Since our founding in late 2012, we have worked hard, frequently in inhospitable circumstances, to create a platform for artists across Iraq to freely express their creativity, in a firm belief that culture is an integral component of any society, and a powerful force for change towards an open and free country. This is particularly important for Iraq, given its difficult recent history and authoritarian past,” it continued.

The Baghdad-based foundation, which was co-founded by Tamara Chalabi, daughter of former Iraqi politician Ahmed Chalabi, has overseen the Iraq Pavilion in Venice since 2013.