Life Partners (2014)
Directed by: Susanna Fogel
Starring: Leighton Meester, Gillian Jacobs & Adam Brody
A review by editor Shelley Timms
Susanna Fogel’s indie gem Life Partners tackles the typical best friend/new boyfriend conflict seen in many romantic comedies. When taken on face value, the low-budget, GLAAD Award nominated comedy may seem a bit cliché, but it tackles more than just typical romance troubles.
Sasha (played by Gossip Girl’s Leighton Meester), is an openly gay 29-year-old muso, whose day job as a receptionist “makes her want to blow her brains out.” Meester has transformed from preppy New Yorker Blair Waldorf to a funny, lovable, perpetually single lesbian with a penchant for choosing suitors that still live at home with their parents. She’s sadly relatable, going from drinking wine and watching America’s Next Top Model with her best friend Paige to eating mozzarella sticks and sobbing in her car when Paige gets a boyfriend and doesn’t have time for her anymore.
Paige (Community’s Gillian Jacobs) is a lawyer who seems to have her life together already. When Tim (Adam Brody, of The OC fame) comes into her life, things seem perfect. Their relationship goes from strength to strength, with the couple getting engaged and moving in together. Sasha begins to feel as though she is being replaced by Tim, and finds solace in the ex-girlfriend of another friend.
Gabourey Sidibe and cast members from Saturday Night Live round out the talented cast, and the comedic timing of the supporting actors almost steals the show. Kate McKinnon (the actress known for her hysterically accurate portrayals of Justin Bieber and Ellen Degeneres on SNL) stands out as To Catch A Predator detective Trace, with whom Sasha gets set up on a date with. Equal parts hilarious and creepy, Trace embodies what we all fear when it comes to Tinder dates.
The movie opens with Paige and Sasha attending a gay pride parade, decked out in all their rainbow glory. Gay relationships have equal screen time as straight relationships, which I found refreshing to see. I can see why this film was nominated for a GLAAD Award.
Life Partners is available to stream on Netflix.