LIFE PARTNERS is a stealth movie. It starts off so quiet and banal and forgettable and then suddenly you realise you are engrossed in the characters' lives and when they get into arguments they feel lifted from your reality. This is the kind of observational dramedy that is harder to pull off - to truly make authentic - than it seems. Accordingly, it probably should've gotten more attention than it did.
Leighton Meester (Gossip Girl) starts as a twenty-nine year old girl struggle to reconcile herself to the fact that she hates her life. A dull secretarial job was meant to compensate for writing music, but she never really did that, and now she's just stick with no money, no idea of what to do with her life, and to cap it all, a best friend who is no longer available to her. Why? Because that best friend Paige (Gillian Jacobs) has started her first serious relationship. Paige wants good things for Sasha but mistakes her relationship misfires for a genuine career crisis - something which her new boyfriend actually gets.
It feels so slight to say that this is a movie about two best friends growing up and growing apart before realising that their different life choices are okay. But this is some of the most real stuff I've seen depicting twenty-something female friendship. It's also refreshing to see a lesbian character as the lead, and that her sexuality isn't the focus of the film. Yes, she's flaky at relationships but it accepts Sasha for who she is. More films should do that. So kudos to director and writer Susanna Fogel & Joni Lefkowitz. Can't wait to see what they do next.
LIFE PARTNERS has a running time of 93 minutes and is rated R. The movie played Tribeca 2014 and is now available on streaming services.
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