Old Lady Movie Night: ‘Singles’

Well WHAT IS UP, party people? Remember that song, “Party People”? The one by Missy Elliott that I would shout “THIS IS MY SONG” about upon hearing it (and, well, being very wrong because it was never actually my song, nor will it ever be)? Of course you do. We all remember. All of us. Even you, person who has never read this column before. We are remembering right now, even. Welcome.

And I am back after a week off, which I spent in beaaaaauuuutiful Calgary, Alberta, where I performed at Folk Fest and attempted to “bring the LOLs.” Truly, I hope I did more than I did via that sentence, but either way, hello, and I missed you.

Full confession alert: I have only seen Singles once, which is a travesty considering Singles is mandatory viewing, especially if you are like me, and love the ’90s (despite being only 14 years old at the end of them). I saw this movie for the first time in sociology class because I’m 99% sure my teacher just wanted to watch it — and who can blame her — and I can tell you right now that is a good way to see it. You’re paying attention, you’re studying relationships, you’re admiring Bridget Fonda’s floral dresses, and you are terrified of Matt Dillon because his hair is out of control. Watching it here with me, obviously, is the next best thing. Why? Because we will laugh, and also, because I will write at least one paragraph or sentence about Matt Dillon’s hair. BUT ONLY WHEN THE TIME IS RIGHT. Now is not that time. Now is the time for… [drum roll please, preferably by the band Pearl Jam]… the opening credits.

Enter: the ’90s.

1. Listen, I’m sorry, but when I hear “Seattle” I think of Homer Simpson in clown college

Because I’m the worst human alive. But the Seattle Tower just showed up, and all I can see in my mind is Krusty holding up “funny city names” and Homer just losing it over Seattle. I think I would spend my entire time visiting Seattle just saying “Seattle” the way Homer did. So what I’m saying is, “Hello, I am 27 years old and an adult. Never let me leave my home.”

2. No, but Kyra’s own parking space is actually a really big deal

When I lived in my old apartment, I got one for $50 month that I ended up not paying for for the last two months because I was so poor.  BUT STILL. You know how much a parking space can go for? DO YOU? Like, $300, I think. I’m pretty sure. I am 99% sure I heard that somewhere once. Why? Because the world is insane. So Kyra Sedgwick a.k.a. THE CLOSER (she is “The Closer,” right?) is entitled to being mega psyched about her parking space because those things are GOLD. Texas T. Whatever else they say about oil in The Beverly Hillbillies opening credits.

3. Well, I would assume the Spanish artist was trying to kill me because I have watched too much Law and Order: SVU

And that’s the thing about the ’90s: they did NOT watch Law and Order: SVU. They trusted people. I would assume he had sabotaged my car engine because he had engaged me to talk about puppies minutes earlier, and then, when he tapped on my glass window, I would not leave my car because I would assume that is when he would abduct me and murder me someplace. There would be no discussion of art on the bench outside the mechanic’s, I can tell you that much. Also, can you guys tell he’s an artist? I can, because he is drawing outside in the wintery cold. Nope. I don’t trust this guy. Not for a second. If this was my movie, I wouldn’t get out of my car until he left and then I would call the mechanic’s AND the police because, again, I’ve seen Law and Order: SVU.

Yeah, see? He sketches her. I’M ONTO YOU BUDDY. I mean, I know he’s NOT a serial killer, but think of me like Lucille Bluth, always: “Why are you trying to get me out of the house?”

4. Oh my god the Spanish guy is a monster!

WHAT THE HELL! And then he looks at her from across the bar (because Kyra saw him) and is just like, “So? What? And?” Honestly, he may as well have been a murderer. And the worst thing is, she was out and feeling so great, and he RUINED IT. Go to bed, Spanish guy. I knew not to trust you. And not just because I saw this movie 10 years ago. But because you never, ever trust a guy who keeps following you around and who probably sabotaged your automobile.

5. The ’90s are way too overwhelming for me

I love the ’90s, but I just don’t have it in me to be an adult then. No cell phones! Or Twitter! Also, dating seems so complicated? Like, more than it is now? Did people just date people in their friend circles? Was that it? This guy talking dated his friend’s friend’s friend’s friend or something and no. Too small. YOUR GROUPS ARE TOO SMALL, ’90s. I mean, it’s a small world now, obviously, but for some reason it doesn’t seem like you have to run into each other all the time if you don’t want to. Or maybe that’s just the beauty of someone tweeting where they are and you going, “Oh, no thank you, then! To a new restaurant for me!”

6. “Somewhere around 25 bizarre becomes immature”

That is actually so true. The stuff I did before 25 I would judge so hard if I met somebody who did them now. And I didn’t even really do much! But do you know what I mean? You hit 25, and it’s not like you need to settle down and buy a house (which still gives me anxiety, thank you very much), but you do need to maybe need to have real goals instead of “I don’t know man, I just go with the flow.” Basically, Jack Dawson was under 25 so he was endearing. But if he was over 25, it’d be weird because he was homeless with no goals of even finding a crappy apartment.

7. We all dated/liked a Matt Dillon-esque character, and I’m proud of us all for surviving

UGHHHHHH AND IT’S TERRIBLE. IT IS SO AWFUL. I once liked a guy who played a gig at The Keg (SERIOUSLY), and thought he OWNED music. He even had shirts made. And I was 21, and I loved it. I loved it so much, and thought he was a genius, and really loved that he tattooed his own band’s logo onto his arm, and can you BELIEVE he was banging his best friend’s sister at the same time he and I were “talking”/making out at various locations? Oh young, naive, newborn baby little Anne. You made it out alright, but getting through it was SO BAD.

Also, when I worked in music, I would like to confirm that I never dated any guy in any band, but I had a crush on so many, and they were all Matt Dillon, but there is a cure and it is time, and you just eventually realize that real people with real lives and real stories are the most interesting people of all. (But first, you must adore the guy who played at The Keg.)

8. Everyone DOES have an act, though!

Remember that part where the guy goes up to Kyra and says everyone at a concert is pretending to be someone else? I TOTALLY THINK THAT IS TRUE. Do you guys agree? Yes. Because this movie is genius. Cameron Crowe, if you are reading this, I love this movie so much.

9. I support the presence of Steve Dunn now

Are we right, everybody? First, he is a nice, kind person, it seems (so far — please be kind and nice, guy, I don’t want to regret typing this paragraph). Also, he genuinely likes Kyra Sedgwick! And he’s TRYING. Like, actually approaching her and talking to her like a human being! And, on a superficial front, NICE HAIR, SIR (and I am being for real he really does have good hair). Basically what I mean to say is: “THAT HAIR.” Like Lucille Bluth, obviously.

10. Okay but right now Kyra is at Steve Dunn’s apartment, and I have the awkward butterfly thing FOR them

Example — is me but 100% all the time watching this scene:

The awkward butterfly thing is awesome but also THE WORST, am I right? I hate it. I mean, it’s lovely, but also like how Michael Scott says, “NO GOD PLEASE NO.” Let’s all just chill out? No? It’s impossible? Yes? I KNOW. But that’s fine! Though I feel like neither of these people are guarded, and good for them, I guess? The ’90s!  AND WHAT THE WHAT KYRA, YOU GUYS WERE ABOUT TO KISS, AND YOU PEACED OUT TO GET YOUR CLOTHES. Why were they wet? Did I miss that part? And also, I mean, fair, Kyra, but why is everyone offering their garage door openers? Was this a thing? My family never had a garage, and only my grandparents had a garage, so … alright then! Garages! Openers! IT BEING A THING. Cool!

11. But no don’t show up at the house?

Or maybe do, since you guys are now making out! I DON’T KNOW, EVERYONE. I like good old fashioned communication so honestly if this movie were about me at this age it’d be boring. It’d be like “Hey, we should hang out!” – “Cool!” And then we’d hang out and talk about important topics. Like….

12. What the hell, Matt Dillon

Remember when he tells Bridget Fonda to get implants basically? YOU ARE THE DEVIL, MATT DILLON IN THIS ROLE. Also, though! What the hell? Are we all under the understanding that it doesn’t matter how big your boobs are? And that big boobs do not equal happiness? And only a total jag of a guy would say, “Get a boob job”? Why can’t Janet just date Bill Pullman, the beautiful man? Or just BE HER? She doesn’t need to date anyone! She can just be Janet! JANET ARE YOU LISTENING. (No, because this movie was made when I was seven.)

13. Steve waited four days to call?! 

Um, Steve. No. Buddy. Friend. I don’t even wait four days to call my pals? Actually, I don’t call anyone. That’s the thing: NONE OF US CALL PEOPLE. Now it’s a text message, and now it’s like, the next day. Which, honestly, I prefer. THANK GOODNESS FOR TEXTS AND THE INTERNET. Let’s just all talk like cool and normal people. Also, four days is INSANE. An INSANE time to wait to talk to someone. She was right to use his shirt to clean the toilet. FOUR DAYS, GUYS? No thank you, Steve Dunn.


Is a thing that exists. That’s all.

15. Janet’s breakthrough!!!

JANET! JAN-ET! JAN-ET! JAN-ET! You do NOT have to be there, Janet! You CAN just break up with him! You don’t need that! Oh man, I love that in movies when the heroine is like “Yeah, no. BYEEEE” because frankly, life’s too short to be treated badly by anyone! Friends, boyfriends, girlfriends, whatever. Only A+ people, thank you, and nobody else need apply. I’m kind of way more invested in the Janet storyline now? Like, Kyra and Steve, it’ll be fine, and we know that, but they also seem to be creating their own problems? Am I wrong? And why is it in movies when someone is freaking out they can’t just say “hey, I’m freaking out.” We’re humans! We all freak out! We can all chat! But wait now she might be pregnant. Oh man.

16. So is blue pregnant or not pregnant?

I WAS WRITING AND NOT PAYING ATTENTION. I am assuming blue means pregnant because everyone seems very distracted. ALL OF THIS IS VERY COMPLICATED AND I AM OVERWHELMED. Also, I am thirsty and my water bottle is ALL THE WAY IN THE OTHER ROOM.

17. Okay, and it just got bleak

Things I didn’t understand as a teenager = this. Any of this. I can’t believe we watched this in school! I mean, I kind of can — but wow. This is heavy. And a minute ago I was complaining about water, and now they got in an accident, and Kyra is freaking out, and Steve is freaking out, and everyone is freaking out, and nobody was prepared for this, especially me who is about to take it all out on Matt Dillon.

18. Whatever, Matt Dillon NICE TIGHTS

Yes, that was petty. But I hope everybody hears Liz Lemon say “that’s a deal breaker” about his ego + tights combination. Also he CRANKS THE STEREO. And the stereo is playing HIS MUSIC. And then the stereo BREAKS WINDOWS IN THE CAR. Go to bed, Matt Dillon.

19. I think I’m over Steve Dunn, guys

TOO MANY FEELINGS. Just say words! Or don’t! But the internal monologue is just exhausting. Just be honest! Is this how it was like without phones or internet? You had no communication possible with people you liked? Also, he just said “The boat could sink with all the pressure in the air” and I think for me I’d be like “Alright, this is too serious.” I THINK THAT’S THE PROBLEM: no one is laughing? WHERE THE JOKES AT. I mean, there are lots in the movie, but Steve and Kyra are not joking ever, and when they do, it’s still not funny. Also, Steve is alone in a concert venue staring directly into space with the expression of a serial killer, and yiiiiikes, pal. GET IT TOGETHER. Also, a guy shouting “you belong with me” into the phone would really scare me? Even if he was nice?

Also, he just said “I want to be Mr. New” and that would also be a thing where I would have to say, “Listen, um, have you not been hearing the way I talk and carry on with my life? Because I’m going to have to make fun of that. I’m sorry.” Unless she thinks that’s funny. And in that case, hey, good for you, you crazy kids!



Because when are Cameron Crowe movies NOT okay? In this case, Steve emerges from his depression to rekindle his existence with THE CLOSER (I really hope that’s what the show’s called) (also, Steve is TOTALLY Adam Scott in Parks and Recreation when he’s like, “Could a depressed person make THIS?”), Janet rocks Cliff’s world and he’s finally stopped being the jag king, and THE NINETIES EXIST. And I say that because I just saw a fax machine and a man named Steve waiting by it. Also, despite all my better judgement, I kind of love that Janet and Matt Dillon end up together.


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