Spinster is the story of Gaby (played by Chelsea Peretti) whose partner breaks up with her on her 39th birthday. Confused and afraid of being alone and questions what it means to be a single woman in the modern age she sets out to start her life anew. Her story plays out over chapters titled after the season during the course of her 39th spin around the sun.
Full disclosure, I’m not familiar Chelsea Peretti nor do I typically watch these kinds of movies. That’s more my wife’s wheel-house but the trailer had a certain charm to it that made me want to check it out. Predictably, soon after the demise of her most recent relationship, she attempts to reinvigorate her love life to disastrous results. I particularly enjoyed the exchange she had with her Chiropractor. Eventually she begins to question the need for companionship and marriage. It’s only after this does she really start to figure things out for herself.
Her brother’s need for help with his 10yr old daughter, Adele, so he can attempt his kick at the can of becoming a stand-up comic ushered in my favorite moments in the movie. Reluctantly Gaby agrees to helping her brother and soon after we see that she seems to actually be enjoying herself. Not only does this provide Gaby with a new relationship, it provides her the opportunity to provide a maternal connection with a child without ever needing to have one of her own. The on screen chemistry between the 2 was fantastic and I wish we could have had more.
Spinster is not your standard RomCom fare. Sure it has a lot of heart in certain scenes but not a lot of really great comedy. I found the best comedic moments happened within the first 30 or so minutes and from there her journey and self realization of what she wants to do with herself to make herself happy keeps the charm but loses much of the humor. The central lessons are not lost on me. I understand that not everyone is meant to be married with children. I also understand there’s an inherent bias towards those who choose to live their lives differently than the social “norms”.
I learned a long time ago that as along as someone isn’t hurting anyone or themselves, live and let live and nobody should question that. It’s none of anyone’s business how another person chooses to live their life. Hopefully more people will learn that lesson as well.
I liked Spinster and I think the messaging has value to it I just wish she managed to hang onto that snarky edge for the entire film.