She will star in and produce a love story about female friendships from Sweet/Vicious creator Jennifer Kaytin Robinson.
Netflix is due for some changes. At least in the original film department. Lately, their offerings have been dominated by ambitious but disappointing movies such as Bright, The Cloverfield Paradox, and Mute. What they could be in need of are original films less concerned with building a fantasy world or setting up a potential franchise, and are instead focused on delivering an enjoyable, standalone film.
Enter Jennifer Kaytin Robinson and Gina Rodriguez. According to The Hollywood Reporter, the two are set to team up for Someone Great, a Netflix original about a woman who goes through a heart-wrenching break-up and decides to seek adventure in New York City with her two best friends before she moves across the country for her dream job. The film will be Robinson’s directorial debut.
Robinson is best known for creating Sweet/Vicious, the MTV show about two college students who act as campus vigilantes and target sexual assailants. Though the show was canceled after one season, reviews were positive and praised it as being refreshing, topical, and funny. It was also well regarded for the female perspectives at the core of the story about sexual assault on a college campus.
Though Someone Great won’t begin production until April, it’s off to a promising start with Bridesmaids director Paul Feig, and his frequent co-producer Jessie Henderson attached as producers. Feig is known for working on female-driven comedies, so it’s no surprise Robinson called working with him a “dream come true.”
The most exciting news is that Gina Rodriguez will be producing and starring in the film. Rodriguez, who has recently been seen in Alex Garland’s Annihilation, is best known as the lead on Jane the Virgin, the show that does the TV rom-com exceptionally well and that, now in its fourth season, launched Rodriguez to stardom in 2014. Rodriguez will produce Someone Great through her company, I Can And I Will. Together, Robinson, Rodriguez and her fellow producers could deliver a film that would benefit Netflix and the rom-com as a genre.
None of this is to say that Netflix should disregard any and all plans for future big-budget, sci-fi/fantasy films. Instead, that the streaming service has delivered clever and original products before by offering refreshing takes on the comedy genre and that Someone Great will play to this strength. Their co-produced dark comedy The End of the F***ing World was a smash hit and a critical success. Last year’s hilarious mockumentary American Vandal was also a stellar parody of the true crime genre. Both of these series were hugely imaginative, and they paid off for Netflix. It makes sense that the company could see success with a good, original romantic-comedy.
The genre is also in need of some quality additions. Recent romcoms such as Home Again and Rough Night were moderately successful, but neither was truly exceptional. While last year’s The Big Sick was highly praised as a rom-com, it did separate the genre from its chick-flick status with a male lead. Ditto for Netflix’s When We First Met, which was far less critically successful than The Big Sick.
Someone Great, on the other hand, is described by Robinson as a movie where the “central love story revolves around female friendship.” Personally speaking, as a fan of the genre, it’s extremely promising to see this description. The same descriptor could be used for some recent, outstanding female-led films, from Girls Trip to Lady Bird. If Someone Great can deliver on this promise, it will undoubtedly be a win for Netflix, and a dream come true for rom-com fans.