Most of us regret the way that some of our past relationships ended. Heck, I can’t say that I haven’t considered contacting some of my ex-girlfriends to apologize for the horrible way that our break-ups transpired. Seemingly without consideration of the possible consequences, that is precisely what the unnamed male protagonist (Adam Brody) of Daisy von Scherler Mayer’s Some Girl(s) does.
As his wedding day approaches, the successful novelist meets up with five of his ex-lovers to discuss what went wrong, maybe even apologize for his past actions. He travels across the U.S. to meet Sam (Jennifer Morrison), Tyler (Mía Maestro), Lindsay (Emily Watson), Reggie (Zoe Kazan) and Bobbi (Kristen Bell) in their respective hometowns. Each woman has been invited to converse in his posh hotel room, which not only allows him to flaunt his success (and what they are missing out on) but just the mere presence of a bed makes most of the women uncomfortable, thus giving him the upper hand in the conversation. The women may question his motives, but they are all curious enough to participate in his dramatic exercise.
Penned by the incomparable Neil LaBute, Some Girl(s) is theatrical and contrived; to some, it might achieve some rather off-putting extremes of hyper-reality. The actors’ dialogue is meticulously-crafted, as if torn from the pages of classic literature; their brains seem to work on hyper-drive, allowing them to concoct the most perfect response to each other in the matter of milliseconds. Each woman’s scene is written like a one-act play, taking place in its own individual location. The hotel rooms are each crafted in a specific style and mood to showcase the uniqueness of the five women; every prop, movement and word is saturated with meaning and significance. It is entertaining just to observe the actors’ physical relationships with each other; their placements are blocked with dance-like purpose and precision, showcasing their power struggles as they constantly jockey for position.
While Some Girl(s) may not represent our own sense of reality, the raw tensions and emotions of each scenario could not be any more real. LaBute possesses a sublime knack for going places that other screenwriters would never dare (or care?) to go; for example, the Zoe Kazan sequence features a conversation that most of us have probably never heard on-screen before. Sure it is creepy and uncomfortable, but its representation of Adam Brody’s character is pitch-perfect; he is so unlikeable but he also seems incredibly sympathetic. Throughout Some Girl(s) we are as confused about what to think about Brody’s character as his ex-lovers. One moment he is condescending and arrogant, the next he is tugging at our heartstrings. Playing off of his boyish looks and inherent charm, Brody is drawn like a moth to morally ambiguous characters, wanting to be loved and hated simultaneously. LaBute has written a character who is precisely that.