Here's a VERY basic outline of the plot: (taken from Netflix.com) "Generation X neighbors share their bittersweet, intertwined stories of the single life in director Cameron Crowe's quirky relationship comedy set against the backdrop of Seattle's grunge music scene in the 1990s." I suppose I couldn't sum it up any better. It's all about being young and single and trying to find your way in the dating scene. Each character seems to represent a different stereotype. The activist, the musician, etc. and despite their differences, they all seem to relate to each other. In a lot of ways, it's a very typical love story. What sets it apart is the backdrop for the film and the music. It's where Cameron Crowe has always shined. If you look at everyone of his films, they are all based around music and how it ties into the story either emotionally or lieterally. He is a master at this. Just look at the sales of the 'Singles' soundtrack.... it sold millions. That's just a soundtrack! Granted, it boasts a huge number of big named performers and songs that weren't and aren't available everywhere. Hell, I own it on cassette and CD. I played the cassette so much that it broke.So what does it all mean? As I said earlier, this film has really left a mark on me. I'm not sure if it really is the film or the time or the music.... but they're all connected. For example, when I went to film school, I didn't want to write horror or action.... I wanted to write romantic films like this one. I also included music as a huge part of the writing process and in the scripts themselves. When I finished my first script, it included music clues in the screenplay and I even made a soundtrack to go with it. When I turned it in, my professor said that he'd never had a student do that before and it really impressed him. He even commented on my grade that it was a nice addition to have the music to match up with the scenes. Even to this day, if I hear a song that inspires me, I write. I can't tell you how many things that I've created were based on some kind of inspirational cue from a song. It's a beautiful marriage. This film also influenced my love of certain actors and increased my affections for certain bands. Like the mime that is in this film, he's played by Eric Stoltz and he left and impression. As a matter of fact, I went to see the film 'Naked in New York' because of him and that film is still one of my top films ever. It was the foundation of my first screenplay and I owe it all to 'Singles'. This film may not be the 'Citizen Kane' of the 90's, but it is a time capsule of my generation with blinders on. Kind of like pulling out a magazine from 1992 and flipping through it. You know that the people and things in it aren't a true representation of the people and things from that time, but they are parts of it and most likely the parts you remember the best. That, in a nutshell, is 'Singles' for me.
In the end, I have to thank Cameron Crowe for me giving me something to look back fondly on. He created what I always wanted to, even before I knew it myself. It's a very solid 4 out of 5 star film that I don't think everyone who watches it will understand. I think you had to be there, in that time, to really feel where it's coming from. Kind of like watching a film from the 60's, 70's or 80's. If you weren't there, you may be able to appreciate what it is, but it won't have the same impact on you that it might on someone else. I can never go back to that time and relive who I was and what was going on, but that's the beautiful thing about music, art, film and television.... it's like a pseudo-timecapsule. Even for a short time, we can all go back and visit our past, for better or worse. This is why I do what I do and I am who I am.
If you like this film, check out: 'Naked in New York', 'Threesome' and 'The Brothers McMullen'