Adam Brody and Kristen Bell in SOME GIRL(S) (Leeden Media)

Adam Brody and Kristen Bell in SOME GIRL(S) (Leeden Media)

Directed by Daisy von Scherler Mayer
Produced by Patty West, Chris Schwartz & Andrew Carlberg
Written by Neil LaBute, based on his play
Released by Leeden Media
USA. 84 min. Not rated
With Adam Brody, Kristen Bell, Zoe Kazan, Mía Maestro, Jennifer Morrison & Emily Watson

In Some Girl(s), Adam Brody plays a nameless man in search of closure and forgiveness from the women he’s wronged in the past. Like a much darker version of High Fidelity, he reconnects with the top five women who have affected him the most. He’s an established author, about to get married, but the past weighs heavily on his conscience.

Traveling to four different cities throughout this process, the man starts in Seattle to see his hometown sweetheart, Sam (Jennifer Morrison). He broke up with her in high school, but his attempt to apologize leads to the discovery that what he’s sorry for isn’t what hurt her the most. It follows in the same vein in every city: Chicagoan Tyler (Mía Maestro), whom he thought of as a casual rebound, was more invested in their relationship than he thought. The married Boston college professor Lindsay (Emily Watson) has had to deal with her husband and colleagues finding out about the affair after he ran away from the situation. Returning to Seattle, he reunites with Reggie (Zoe Kazan), the young sister of his childhood best friend, whom he has affected in ways he barely understands. Finally, he travels to Los Angeles for Bobbi (Kristen Bell), who he seems to regret leaving more than the others.

It’s quickly established by his first meeting with Sam that the man is not very likable. Self-obsessed, he’s unable to see how much he hurt these women even as they explain it to him. This is made clear by the constant mention of his writing, fictionalized versions of his relationships. He often has to defend his thinly veiled based-on-real-life stories, especially to Lindsay, since the one regarding their affair is about to be made into a film. This is juxtaposed with how little he mentions his fiancé. He refers to her as “some girl.”

The film in structure is simplistic yet effective. Each encounter takes places in a hotel room with just the man and one of the women discussing their past. As the film is based on Neil LaBute’s play, this setup makes sense but does feel a bit staged. The script is sharp, though, and the film moves along at a quick pace. Director Daisy von Scherler Mayer never stays with one woman for too long. In most instances, I wished I had a bit more time to get to know more about each relationship.

Brody is fine as the anonymous man, but it’s really the five women who drive Some Girl(s). Zoe Kazan particularly stands out as a woman dealing with painful childhood memories and trying to make the man understand how much of an impact he has had on her life. It’s wonderful how differently each woman handles his arrival back into her life. They all call him out on the fact that, despite his wanting forgiveness, he really has no idea what he’s done wrong.

None of them can quite wrap their heads around his motives, each questioning the point of looking back at such painful memories. Some even become angry at the idea that he needs to drag up old hurt just so he can feel better about his impending marriage. The audience is meant to feel that way, too. This man, who flies around the country to confront these women, doesn’t even have an explanation as to why he feels the need to do it at all. His plan to assuage his feelings about his approaching marriage is a crude one, but it’s the women’s emotional reaction to his poorly thought-out apologies that makes Some Girl(s) so fascinating to watch.