My love affair with Singles began when I was in college. This was quickly part of our rotation of movies to get together and watch – oh, all the time. I’m not saying I’ve ever gone out dancing a LOT but whenever we did go dancing or think about dancing, it always involved yelling “we will always go out dancing!” just like Kyra Sedgwick.
I think I’ve been pretty clear throughout my life that I LOVE the ’90s and everything that ever happened IN the 90’s, so once you throw a movie by Cameron Crowe at me that takes place in Seattle in the ’90s, I’m sold. I want to wear ALL of Bridget Fonda’s clothes in this movie and basically it caused me, in college, to think, “well, I’m out drinking, where’s Campbell Scott?” (No one you will ever meet in a bar or out dancing will be Campbell Scott. Not possible – but I have called someone while out and said “I was just having many beers” so…)
There are absolutely amazing cameos in this movie. Jeremy Piven steals the show for me, but then you also get Bill Pullman, Eric Stoltz, Paul Giamatti, Tim Burton, Chris Cornell, Victor Garber and Eddie Vedder – I mean, that list ALONE is amazing. (Also, you get James LeGros AKA the creepy guy Phoebe goes on a date with one time on Friends, the rapist from the Jennifer Love Hewitt episode of SVU – WHAT A GOOD EPISODE – and, of course, the dad from Girls that Jessa has the weird thing with.)
Anyway, I am overcome with the urge to describe the entire movie in great detail, so instead let’s get to the list. Here’s how Singles ruined my life (and it isn’t just because I almost did the Bridget Fonda-making-a-salad scene for one of my TV studio projects in college):
1. Felt Like I Had to be Suspicious of Most Guys
I was watching this movie a LOT in my late teens. And, since I just re-read a journal from 2004 the other day, I can tell you I was DEFINITELY concerned I would never have a boyfriend again after not having one for the first two years of college and it is mostly because of this movie. (P.S. don’t re-read journals from the first two years of college.)
But what else am I supposed to think? They have such terrible stories about guys and relationships in general in this movie! Poor Kyra meets this cute guy from Spain who’s Visa is apparently running out soon and he immediately draws this awesome picture of her and is cute with the crabs at the market and really likes animals and her and just…
Then you have Bridget Fonda, dating Matt Dillon (I’m not going to refer to anyone’s character’s name apparently) and he says to her, flat out, “you know I see other people still, right?” And the poor girl doesn’t believe him. (Always believe a guy if he tells you straight up he’s seeing other people, girls.)
I mean, obviously these girls end up working things out in the end, but just seeing everyone’s 20-something romance troubles made me pretty convinced every guy on the planet was a jerk and lying just, all the time.
But then again, Campbell Scott does say this, which just about sounds perfect to me: “If I had a personal conversation with God, I would ask him to create this girl.”
2. The Thing About Being 23
“I’m 23. Remember how old 23 seemed when you were little? I mean, I thought people would be traveling in airlocks and I would have 5 kids. Here I am – 23 – things are, um, basically the same. I think time is running out to do something bizarre. Somewhere around 25 bizarre becomes immature.”
I can’t tell you how much this statement spoke to me.
I’m almost 28 now and I still kind of am like, “man, shouldn’t we have hovercrafts by now?”
But just the idea that you have to get things out of your system to become an adult was something I definitely latched onto at the time. I remember feeling like I shouldn’t allow myself to indulge in things because I was supposed to be becoming an adult. Luckily I’ve abandoned that (and realized it was BS) and now the only truly adult things about me are that I’m employed and married.
3. The Little Moments Of Everything
I just love the details and hit-you-over-the-head moments of this movie. Kyra’s all excited about her garage door opener and her freedom and gives it to Luis and then he’s a jerk. And she promises the car garage door salesman that she’ll “never lose it again.” (AKA never give her heart to someone again, am I right?)
Campbell Scott talks about his screwed up past and how he just wishes everything could be as simple as this postcard he has (and which is displayed in, I assume, every single college dorm room decorated by a girl).
But then he’s into Kyra and she comes over and casually mentions she has it too. Love.
He freaks when she opens his car door button after a date that she was pretending wasn’t a date.
Then SHE freaks because he offers her HIS garage door button for next time. Hey-o!
But I think my favorite one is with the redhead, Debbie, when she’s trying to do her “Expect the Best” video application and explains, “I love these earrings that nobody loves but me.” But then Victor Garber loves those earrings! MADE FOR EACH OTHER.
Oh, shoot, well, I also love how Campbell Scott says the I was just nowhere near your neighborhood line when they first start dating and then SHE says it when they get back together. It’s like the “I love you.” –“I know” of this movie.
4. Wanting Someone Who Says “Bless You” When You Sneeze
Janet: Well, when I first moved out here from Tucson, I wanted a guy with looks, security, caring, someone with their own place, someone who said “bless you” or “gesundheit” when I sneezed, you know. Someone who liked the same things as me but not exactly. Someone who loves me.
Steve: Tall order.
Janet: Yeah, I scaled it down a little.
Steve: Well, what is it now?
Janet: Someone who says “gesundheit” when I sneeze. Although I’d prefer “bless you” – it’s nicer.
This is why I identify with Bridget Fonda so much in this movie.
I love her ENTIRE list of what she wanted in a guy and then how that changed. I mean, who hasn’t felt that way? It’s like, oh, my perfect guy will have this facial feature and this physical attribute and I hope he does this for a living and blah blah blah but at the end of the day you just want someone who at least cares enough to say bless you (or gesundheit) when you sneeze.
I mean, in my case I just needed someone who would watch The Simpsons and Star Wars obsessively with me but tomay-to, tomah-to, right?
5. Just Another Thing Where I Was Taught That Your Post-College Apartment Would Be Exactly Like a College Dorm
When I was in college, I was pretty convinced I would have friends in my apartment building when I was in my 20’s. Everything showed me that I would! Melrose Place, Friends, this movie. I just thought that you move out of a dorm and basically just move into a new dorm with less rules – either with existing friends or new friends that you make. Well, I instead moved into a building where half the tenants are elderly and the ones that ARE close my age are pretty unfriendly and I talk to none of them, so that wasn’t really in the cards for me.
I don’t get any fun gossip about my neighbors (just weird gossip like “guess who yelled at me in the laundry room” or “that sad lady is outside smoking again”) and I certainly am not aware if any of them are dating each other – though I assume they are not.
Basically every main character in this movie lives in the same apartment complex except for Kyra Sedgwick. I love that Bridget Fonda and Campbell Scott used to date and now she dates Matt Dillon and is just a good friend to Campbell Scott and says things like this to him: “People need people, Steve. It has nothing to do with sex. OK, maybe 40 percent. 60 percent. Forget it.”
It’s so cute. Kyra even comments on it when Steve is explaining his apartment complex to her. She says he sounds like her when she’s talking about her family. So cute.
I guess I’m just always sad I was 8 in 1992 instead of 23.