Leighton Meester & Gillian Jacobs Save Female Friendships in 'Life Partners' — VIDEO
All hail female friendships! For such an integral part of a woman's life experience, female friendships are woefully underrepresented in television, movies, and books. YA novels have a disturbing trend of pitting women against each other and shows like Glee are suffering from a general lack of female friendships. The fact that you can put two women in a room without them automatically competing against each other is a message that Hollywood is being a little slow in receiving. So when it came to the exclusive clip from Life Partners , a Tribeca Film Festival dramedy starring Leighton Meester, Gillian Jacobs, and Adam Brody, I was expecting more of the same. After all, Meester is best known for her role as Blair Waldorf in Gossip Girl, a girl who never quite managed to maintain a healthy relationship with her childhood friend Serena van der Woodsen, and Jacobs is best known for her role as Britta Perry on Community, a girl who is notorious for her trouble getting along with other women.
The premise of the film sounds problematic as well. Meester plays Sasha, an underachieving lesbian who is co-dependent on her best friend Paige, played by Jacobs. The two spend their time "[drinking] red wine straight out of the bottle" and "[eating] sheet cake straight from the pan" until Paige meets and falls for Tim, played by Brody, and Sasha begins to feel left behind. A friendship destroyed by a boy? I've never heard that plot before. And I certainly can't think of several movies, books, and television shows that follow that exact same formula.
Life occasionally follows that same formula, though nowhere near as often as media would have you believe. I've personally never been involved in a cat fight, whereas they seem to happen every other day on television. However, Meester assures us not to jump to conclusions just yet and starts by saying the thing that's been on all of our minds.
“I see very few female roles that come my way that are strong, defined, or independent of male storylines,” said Meester in an interview with Entertainment Weekly. “This movie is about women and their friendship, lives, and careers – things that interest them other than dating, guys, love, and sex. My character is the type that speaks to all kinds of women and is characteristic of what I hope to keep doing.”
That sounds promising. The movie hasn't come out yet, so at this point Meester knows it a lot better than we do. The relationship between Sasha and Paige does seem to be the main focal point of the movie and, though Tim is the catalyst for change, that could be all he is. After all, it's incredibly relatable to feel left behind when your best friend gets a new boyfriend, but that doesn't make it true. If the word co-dependent is being thrown around with regards to their friendship, a little distance might be exactly what Sasha and Paige need to become the people they've always dreamed of becoming. It doesn't mean that their friendship necessarily has to suffer from it. In fact, it might even get stronger.
And, as the clip implies, if their friendship is at the point where Sasha feels comfortable banging on Paige's door and bluntly stating that she needs to take a dump, then there's no turning the clock back on it now. There could be hope for female friendships yet.
Watch the sneak peek below.