Graduation season is in full swing, as is evidenced by the sea of purple gowns gracing the Quad every day at golden hour. Even if this spring doesn’t mark the end for an undergrad, chances are a close friend or peer is graduating. The year is over — students are moving back home for the summer, and change is in the air.
A new Netflix film, “Someone Great,” directed by Jennifer Kaytin Robinson, explores those changes that occur when something ends. When Jenny (Gina Rodriguez) gets her dream job writing for Rolling Stone in San Francisco, her college boyfriend (Lakeith Stanfield) of nine years dumps her instead of facing the hassle of long-distance. Jenny’s college friends, Erin (DeWanda Wise) and Blair (Brittany Snow), rally together to get Jenny through this heart-breaking time. Whether it’s a relationship, a routine, a job or a home, the lessons of this movie can be applied to any change at an important juncture in one’s life.
Rachel Paige, a contributor for Forbes, said, “It doesn’t rush anything, and it’s not even suggesting how you, the viewer, should feel about anything. It’s just letting it all happen, and it's letting you take what you need from it.” College students should watch this movie for that very reason. Although most JMU students are likely just entering their twenties, a great deal can be learned from the stories of these young people going through their own, unique quarter-life crises.
Although this group of friends must balance their friendship with the realities of adulthood, they still make room for fun along the way. Just because the days of frat parties and formals might be over doesn’t mean everything is stuffy and boring from here on out. Endorsing all the choices these women make throughout the movie would be a mistake, but the carefree freshman that still lives somewhere deep inside every twenty-something should be let out once in a while.
Real Simple advises that “just because your friends live nearby doesn’t mean your relationships will stay the same.” “Someone Great” exemplifies that dilema. Even though Jenny, Erin, and Blair continue to live in New York City post-grad, they see each other less due to their careers and personal lives. People continue to change through college and afterward as they learn and grow from the realities of post-university life. So people shouldn’t expect their close-knit group of friends to share the same values and priorities five years from now.
It’s important to know these changes are completely normal and healthy prior to graduating. Being thrust into unknown situations is never fun, so it’s helpful to know what’s in store, even if it is from a Netflix Original. Although the movie is marketed as a rom-com, there are plenty of deeper life lessons to be learned and many tears to be shed, as the story could be a little too real for current college students.
“Someone Great” forces young adults to confront their fleeting college years. So, students should cherish the memories with their loved ones in this moment, but know it’s okay if they lose touch down the road. Even when friendships shift and disappear, reminders of them will continue to affect a person’s life for years to come. If a friend means the world to a person, they’ll end up sticking around for the long haul. As people leave someone’s life, even more wonderful people enter it. Any and all of these people could touch your life in priceless ways.
Ryann Sheehy is a sophomore theater and media arts and design double major. Contact Ryann at firstname.lastname@example.org.