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Some Girl (1998)

 -  Comedy | Drama | Romance  -  19 April 1998 (USA)
5.9
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Ratings: 5.9/10 from 737 users  
Reviews: 17 user | 4 critic

Four unstable twenty-something women search for long-term relationships in 1990s Los Angeles.

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Title: Some Girl (1998)

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
Claire
...
...
...
...
Jenn (as Pamela Segall Adlon)
...
Ravi
...
Suzanne
David Gail ...
Mitchell
...
Jeff
Sharisse Baker-Bernard ...
Claire's Stepmother (as Sharisse Baker)
...
Claire's Father
Sam Saletta ...
Mike
...
Chad
Kris Iyer ...
Magazine Stand Clerk
...
Earl
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Storyline

Four unstable twenty-something women search for long-term relationships in 1990s Los Angeles.

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Genres:

Comedy | Drama | Romance

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for strong sexuality and language, and some drug control | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

19 April 1998 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Girl Talk  »

Filming Locations:


Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

| (DVD)

Sound Mix:

Color:

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Did You Know?

Goofs

The final shot of the patrol car driving away has been flipped as can be seen by the reversed 911 notice on the back of the patrol car and the transposed positions of the red and blue flashing lights. See more »

Quotes

Jason: How does it feel like to have the biggest pussy known to mankind?
April: You're really trying my patience, Jason. That's really funny.
Jason: Yeah, well, you're looking a little spent there.
April: Listen, you little faggot! You want me to drag you out by your puny, little cock and take away what manhood you have left, 'cause I'll do it!
Jason: What're you gonna do? You gonna blow me to death?
April: [slaps Jason]
See more »

Soundtracks

Vampires Suck
Written by Phobe Summersquash, Alex Kemp
Performed by The Godreys
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

User Reviews

Urban anthropology of the "leading edge" of the 90's dating game.
23 July 2001 | by (Manhattan) – See all my reviews

"Some Girl" is interesting primarily as a piece of urban anthropology which delves into young female dating despair amidst late 90's West LA plenty, of all sorts. It also seems to me to really be about female downward mobility, by a route more usual in real life but less movie cliched than the full fledged drug addiction, leading perhaps to prostitution, chestnuts of yore. None of these girls are going to either themselves, or by marriage "success", earn the sorts of incomes their parents did. Not even close. Dissolution.

It tracks a few weeks of the "dating" lives of four late 20's upper family income girlfriends from a quasi hip strata of west LA. What they have in common is a battle weary and cynical participation in a relationship scene where low meaning sex is plentiful for reasonably attractive girls (like themselves) and a smaller number of in the scene and very attractive (or skillzed) guys, and taken as the background given. But where lasting emotional connection, much less love, is very, very elusive -- or non-existent. Sex with and mostly without lasting personal connection. But utterly without real romance. Meanwhile large numbers of guys who don't have player status and who aren't getting any, litter the landscape as a sex needy silent chorus, from the nerdy wannabe younger brother of Claire (Marissa Ribisi), who at least has future possibilities if among other things he'd lose the glasses (and get a few notches in his belt), to Jason's (Giovanni Ribisi) four house mates, who have apparently largely given up, and spend their time endlessly playing scrabble as mating games unfold around them. All of this is quite realistic, at least as a portrait of the two poles. (Meanwhile, in the middle, there are a lot of couples that have already paired off, married or most likely not at this late 20's age in the leading urban areas. But they aren't the subject here.)

Counter the usual stereotypes, here it is the girls who are easily the most messed up among the ones focused on -- with the partial exception of Neal (Michael Rapaport), April's nice guy and doormat boyfriend, who has a severe case of masochistic clinging and an utter inability to play the game. One can imagine though that there is hope for him with the right stable relationship sort of girl -- ironically, someone somewhat like Claire, if a bit lower voltage and with more of a take charge personality. In fact the film frequently draws subtle parallels between Neal's and Claire's positions with those they are seeing -- the situations aren't exactly the same certainly, but there are also many similarities. Of course neither sees this whatsoever.

Though the friendship of four girlfriend players (who boast among themselves and for all who care to overhear about the oral skillz) is the near background, the film focuses on Claire, and as well the sort of sex she has decided she doesn't want (any longer), illustrated by her friend April (Juliette Lewis). April is a full-fledged slut if ever there was one. In fact her character serves as a current pop culture archetype. The only possible missing requisite is a fondness for stranger gang bangs, though one could hardly rule that out. Mostly she doesn't seem ambitious enough to organize them herself. Her normal operating routine, most nights a week, is to wake up the next morning in some new house she doesn't recognize, stumble to the curb so as not to have to deal with whoever she discovers is lying next to her (and we almost never see these he's), and call one of her girl friends or her doormat boyfriend (!) to come pick her up. "Don't ask", she always says. So much for the background.

Claire, whose wildly red and wildly curly hair, framing alabaster skin, make her easily the most interesting looking and exotically attractive of the four friends (if you can overlook her increasingly beaten looking eyes), has settled into a pattern of serial short term relationships, which invariably break her heart. This, she quickly spills to Jason, is because within a couple of weeks they either stop calling her, or she discovers they are real jerks. Either way, another broken heart. (A bit easy in the heart department, per chance?) She doesn't want to get it wrong again this time, she plaintively tells him. "OK, we'll take it slow" he reassures her. Actually, he tries to, within the ready sex ethos they are living in. It soon becomes apparent that she is the one who can't. What she always does wrong becomes glaringly apparent, for those with eyes to see and enough knowledge to understand. The problem isn't really sex too soon. The problem is clinging dependence too soon -- and too much.

Claire begins as a winningly vulnerable and open character, and initially I had real hopes for her, and for her with Jason. She may not be good at the game, but she sure seemed to have an open and beautiful heart. She believes in devoted love. Their relationship begins promisingly enough. Their magazine rack scene together is sweet. He too is a romantic, looking for emotional connection far more than sex (which he takes for granted, as do all the players, especially the girls). He picks Claire up at a magazine stand in a way that at first appears to be simple understated confidence, combined with disarmingly dispensing with line routines. He sees her, and as he pretty much just says, is intrigued by the contrast of her flaming hair against her pale white skin, as she is more than used to hearing. (He is also attracted to her subtle but evidently submissive demeanor, though that is something he acts upon, rather than expresses.) He manages to disarm Claire's reasonably robust shields against pretty boy pickups, by calm, not going anywhere, persistence and innocent charm. It's also the last time she manages to try to resist him.

By the first scene of their ensuing next day date, I was clued to him being a master pickup artist. His not specifying on his call where they would go on their first date was a clue to his having already scoped a good part of her nature, but wasn't conclusive. He first brings her to a laundromat where he casually folds the clothes he had previously left, while soothingly reassuring her, asking her if she's upset. "Well" she says smiling uncertainly, "what's next -- the supermarket?". "No" he reassures her, "although I'd like to do that with you too. I had something more like a nice restaurant in mind." Then I knew. Pure seduction genius, for someone like Claire (and a lot of women). (It's about being together, not about him having to prove his worthiness to her.) He has her totally on the way by then, of course. Back at his room, after he's lit the two candles and turned on the opera aria, he says softly after stroking her: "I don't want to f*** you tonight Claire". This is followed of course by her hiding her crest fallen disappointment, her shields of "of course" and "I brought my car" coming up as she bravely tries to mask that and HOPES he's just going TOO slow, as he said he would, but will want to the next time. All this we can see in Marissa Ribissi's wonderfully expressive sad but bravely smiling face. After a pause, and after gently stroking her arm and the side of her face again, Jason follows that with: "No Claire. No. ... I want to make love to you tonight, really make love". Of course it's her coupe de grace. Not for her sex -- that was long a sure thing. For her heart -- for emotionally deeply connected first sex. She is totally, totally gone by then, or anyway by the time he follows through. You can bet they made beautiful music together.

That's the sort of thing a whole lot of women want the first time with someone, almost all women (with whatever lead in approach works for them), but lots of guys seem to either not want, or be unable to pull off with someone they aren't already head over heals in love with. He's a master, natural or otherwise -- if we overlook his cliched "just released from college" room props, which are after all good enough in this context.

Still though, I wasn't counting out a relationship between them at this stage. He really is the romantic type. Relationships and the heart are what he is after. We never actually learn enough about him to know if he feels compelled to endlessly move on to new full mind and body seductions, or whether he is just looking for the right one, but doing it skillfully. We do learn that he's the sort of guy who's got it down so well that he doesn't have to spend much time in the desert between relationships. Choices he's got. More than anyone else in the film. This too is realistic, though he represents the top of the male magnetic pyramid. (The ones with by far the least choices are the sex needy guys, rather than any girrls, which the film uses only as background noise, and most young female viewers are unlikely to even really notice -- or dismiss simply as losers.)


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