Female friendship movies have really been under the radar lately. I’m not saying they never existed before, its just that there seems to be more of a demand for films that depict the complexities of two women trying to keep a friendship alive, even after they’ve found the happily ever after they both spent years dreaming and working towards. Critics and audiences everywhere have blamed this besties film boom on Bridesmaids, a film that not only had us fearing Brazilian food, but also call up our long time friends right after, crying and exclaiming, “I miss you, lets get Chipotle and you can tell me all about that guy I was to harsh on.” Oh yeah, we’ve all had that moment.
Life Partners is like Bridesmaids’ much younger sister; immature and cliche most of the time, it stands in the shadow of its older, funnier sister, but it still stands confidently, fully aware of its extent and okay with it. A bit hard to get into- let alone take seriously- the first 15 minutes in, Life Partner is all sunshine and quirks; you’d think you just accidentally hit an episode of New Girl. Like the Zooey Deschanel comedy, Life Partners is set in sunny Los Angeles where 20-somethings happily drink their third mimosa, ranting about the hardships of dating, a core issue in any millennial’s life especially when residing in a city like L.A. Sasha (Leighton Meester doing a bomb ass job) and Paige (Gillian Jacobs doing her best as the typical anal friend), are practically connected to the hip- they are each other’s rock, comfortable in their “opposites attract” friendship regardless of Sasha’s homosexuality and Paige’s heterosexuality.
Though the two differ in taste, they both seem to encounter the same dating issues, liking guys or girls that are too immature or annoying to keep around, but kept around nonetheless because, hence, they are 20-somethings, and that is just one of the many mistakes people their age do. When Paige meets a guy Tim (Adam Brody, who is Meester’s husband in real life) and falls into the fast paced process of growing up with a serious partner (mature relationships will do that to you), Sasha, who is the less accomplished aspiring musician of the two, can not help but feel left behind.
It is the coming-of-age story we’ve all heard plenty times before, except this time with a lesbian friend instead of two straight girls reenacting blow jobs during their after workout breakfast (Do we not offer?). Of course, there is nothing wrong with two leading female characters differing in sexuality, its just the first half-hour of the film seemed to try so hard to keep reminding the viewer that Sasha is a lesbian. Unlike Broad City, where Illana’s character is never explained as either straight, gay, bi, etc., Life Partners tries a bit too much to emphasize Sasha’s sexuality, almost like the film is trying to yell (if it could), “Hey! We’re different from that other female friendship film cause we have a lesbian here!” This, however, is one of the very few wrong with Life Partners.
There is definitely chemistry between Paige and Sasha, and though there are scenes where you’re left wondering how these two even got to be friends in the first place, you will likely relate to their crazy but loyal pairing. We all have that friend that we are nothing like, yet we would be lost if we didn’t text them almost every day. Sasha and Paige go well together, and Sasha’s free spirited nature and Paige’s uptight lawyer persona perfectly sum up the kinds of 20-somethings there are: either caring too little, or caring too much.
Of course, these personalities do not sit well with every situation, especially when their quest for love are going opposite directions. Paige and Tim’s relationship is not only going fast, but surprisingly well; though Paige can be in the pain in the ass at times, you cannot help but give your blessing to the adorable couple. Brody’s Tim character is quite the charmer; he is definitely the kind of guy most women end up marrying and having children with. You can already hear the string of dad jokes he’ll make once Jr. and little Sally come around, and that just makes him more lovable- shit, I hope I find a dweeby guy movie-quoting guy like that.
However, Sasha’s love life is slowing down and instead replaced by alot of sex (hey, its Meester) instead of actual relationships. This, and her uninspiring receptionist job, make for a unhappy Sasha that needs her uniqueness to be validated by her square lawyer sidekick. We’ve all been there, but this becomes more and more worrisome for Sasha and Paige, who are both turning 29, the last year of their careless 20s. The adulthood is nearing.
Of course no female friendship film would be complete without some good ole’ tension and “You’ve replaced me with your boyfriend!” fights. You see them coming, but that doesn’t make these scenes less enjoyable or less relatable; its a truth every female has to admit. Director Susanna Fogel does a great job slowly shaping the tension; its not just a huge blow out, its a collection of scenes where things don’t go to well for the two.
Life Partners premiered in Tribeca Film Festival, which must’ve been fun, however Tribeca doesn’t seem like a scene for a movie like this. Sunglasses-wearing and bohemian jewelry collecting Life Partners belongs in the shelves of any millennial who needs a fucking break. Don’t take Life Partners too seriously though- It’s not today’s Graduate, but it is today’s breath of fresh beachy air. Though the story is predictable and the outcome is almost unavoidable, Meester and Jacobs’ performances are the type of quirks that’ll have you ordering Jack In The Box in the middle of the night sobbing over your entry level job, but still a tad satisfied that you bought the curly fries with your own money with that entry-level job. 20-somethings unite!