“One way the film sets itself apart is by grounding itself in just the right amount of reality.”
by Bethany Rose
In Mike Kravinsky’s newest film, Nicole is searching for her place in her newly chaotic world. On top of balancing a hectic job with a problematic on-again-off-again relationship, she learns that her uncle has just died and left her his home. Between fighting for a promotion, reevaluating her priorities, and feeling mixed up emotions over two men, Nicole begins to figure out her life in an often comedic way.
The film does a nice job of balancing Nicole’s two worlds, even if the character herself is struggling with the transition. The characters in each setting are fun to watch. Kravinsky drew from his own experience in the news industry when creating this film, but that doesn’t make the work scenes too didactic or drawn out; instead, these scenes are imbued with a sense of playfulness, as if Kravinsky is suggesting that we take the time out of our chaotic lives to laugh and see the funny side of the situation.
What might turn some viewers off is that the film is labeled as a romantic comedy. Films with this label are a niche genre appealing to a very specific audience. If you don’t fit into this audience, you might not give Rom-Coms a second glance. But don’t make that mistake with this film. There are plenty of moments that die-hard Rom-Com fans will love, including Nicole’s interactions with Joe and her personal escapes from reality she takes when she imagines what she’d really like to do in certain situations. Still, this film manages to avoid becoming a cliché of the genre, and it will likely please an audience beyond Rom-Com enthusiasts.
One way the film sets itself apart is by grounding itself in just the right amount of reality. Nicole’s path likely mirrors a more realistic one than is seen in not only a lot of Rom-Coms but a lot of films in general. She doesn’t just roll over and accept her fate. She goes through a transformation and makes decisions based on her very real circumstances. She also has a realistic job, which might seem like a strange observation to make about a character, but I found it a nice change of pace. For example, in the 2006 Rom-Com Failure to Launch, Sarah Jessica Parker’s character had the strange job of being paid to date men in order to somehow convince them to move out on their own and possibly get a real steady relationship. Or characters will have realistic jobs with very unrealistic lifestyles (large NYC apartments, incredibly open work schedules, etc.) Nicole’s job in the news industry is given an extra dose of reality because of her actions with her colleagues. She can go from confident to meek in mere minutes, depending on which colleagues she’s interacting with (check out my interview with director Mike Kravinsky for his take on this situation). She has a horribly busy schedule. And she knows she needs to continue this schedule to be able to afford the cost of living.
Nicole is also a great character because she does think about herself. That is not to say she’s selfish. She’s not. But she’s also not too easily persuaded by her friends, lovers, or family to make the choices that they think are best. She evaluates situations, listens to people, and includes herself in the list of people to listen to. Is it difficult? Of course. Life is often full of complications, and Nicole’s decisions and time she takes to make them suggest nothing different. Still, the audience won’t feel like she is making these decisions for the wrong reasons. There’s no need to yell at the screen or start a series of sighs and eye rolls. Nicole is a character to root for, and her actions aren’t always predictable, but the audience will find delight in joining her for the ride.
Read the interview with Mike Kravinsky and Blair Bowers here.