If you’re searching for a non-traditional romantic comedy, “Spinster” may be just the film you’re looking for. This unconventional journey of self-discovery has a non-traditional heroine at the heart of its fresh, new take on the classic genre.
Sarcastic, mouthy Gabby (Chelsea Peretti) just endured yet another break-up after being dumped many times in the past. It’s her birthday, and she’s just on the brink of turning 40. Everyone is constantly telling Gabby now that she’s getting older, it’s time for her to settle down, get married and have kids. She wants to find her fairy tale ending and fears that she’ll never be loved and will end up as a lonely spinster. Desperate to land a new man, Gabby embarks on a series of blind dates that go horribly wrong. It seems she can’t find a guy who meets either her high or her low standards.
This is a female driven film, with a woman director (Andrea Dorfman) and writer (Jennifer Deyell), so it feels very real. Gabby is cynical yet as normal as they come, making her very relatable. She may be off-putting to some, but her sarcastic barbs never hide the truth of how she really feels. The film is packed with interesting, organically funny characters who don’t sink to becoming paper-thin caricatures. These are people you’d want to be friends with, and perhaps even women you already know.
In her script, Deyell touches on real-life issues that affect many unmarried women, especially those proclaiming that they are “single by choice” who are often subject to snide comments and ridicule. It’s just an unfortunate fact of life: people are often jerks to single women. Anybody who marches to a different beat of standard societal expectations will relate to this film, especially when Gabby comes to the realization that she is her own woman and doesn’t need a man to complete her life. It’s one of the few rom-coms I can name that proclaim “hey, it’s okay” for women not to all want the same cookie-cutter things out of life.
The film has a low budget charm and it isn’t technically polished filmmaking (the abrupt fade-to-black cuts are especially distracting), but this quirky indie sticks the landing with a great ending and a memorable, credible narrative.