'Life Partners' Starring Leighton Meester Tackles Best Friendship in a Way Every Twentysomething Will Relate To
If you're a 20something without a wife or husband, chances are you're not sweating it too much. Especially if you live in a big city like Los Angeles or New York, your singledom is likely more than encouraged. You're young and beginning your career, and with a handful of close friends to fill the emotional void of a significant other, what's the harm in taking your time in love? These are the themes that Life Partners , starring Leighton Meester and Gillian Jacobs as co-dependent best friends, explore.
Written by longtime best friends Susanna Fogel and Joni Lefkowitz, the film surrounds 29-year-old Paige (Jacobs) and her lesbian best friend Sasha (Meester). The two have been best friends for a decade or so, and they do everything together, including adult sleepovers and checking each other's boobs for irregular bumps (we've all been there, right?). In short, these two women are inseparable. That is, until a male love interest (Adam Brody — Meester's real life husband) starts dating Paige and causes a riff in the girls' tight-knit friendship.
Bustle spoke with the film's two stars, along with Susanna Fogel about a film most 20somethings can more than relate to.
"People in their 20s and 30s don't feel the same pressure to settle down that they might feel if they lived in other parts of the country," Fogel explained. "As you go through these intense life changes you still want to lean on people, and if you don't have a partner your friend plays that role. The emotions you'd be putting into a relationship you put into a friendship, which can set you up to have heartbreak when the friends move on, because that's not a sustainable life thing."
Gillian Jacobs, who is currently shooting the last season of Community for Yahoo, was drawn to the film for it's unique take on co-dependancy. "It's talking about co-dependancy in a friendship sphere rather than a romantic sphere," she said, noting that when she was younger she considered platonic friendships "completely safe relationships." But as the film demonstrates, hearts can be broken outside of romantic relationships, too.
"I thought: You can just pour all this energy and attention into [platonic relationships]. Your friends will never really hurt you, they don't come and go like romantic relationships do. Then I started to realize they can have some of the same conflicts, and you can be hurt in sometimes a more hurtful way than via a romantic interest," she said. Adding: "Whenever you're looking for someone to fulfill part of yourself that's going to lead to conflict in the end."
But 28-year-old Meester disagrees, saying that co-dependant relationships are important to foster (even if she's never been in one herself). "I haven't had a chance in my life to be co-dependent with anybody, I'm looking for somebody to do that with," she said. "I've been forced into being independent. I think it feels good to at some point at life you have to trust other people."
The idea of having to "break up" with your platonic friends is one we may be feeling the gravity of most as millennials. Having the freedom to live our lives without "settling down" makes committing to a romantic relationship all the more strenuous on our close friendships. But this feeling, this loss or reshaping of friendships is "natural," according to Jacobs.
"A natural thing that can happen to friends post-college years is that you can grow apart. [Paige and Sasha] are very different, but held together by this bond of friendship," she said. "But maybe if they met as well-defined people they wouldn't necessarily be drawn to each other as they were when they met 10 years earlier at a younger age. Sometimes you look at certain people and you're like 'How are you two friends?! What's the deal there?'"
See how Paige and Sasha sustain — or destroy — their friendship in Life Partners, in theatres December 5. Watch the trailer below:
Images: Haven Entertainment