It’s been 30 years since director Cameron Crowe’s romantic comedy movie ‘Singles’ made it to the big screen. Intended as a snapshot of the nascent grunge scene in Seattle, the film featured Matt Dillon, Bridget Fonda, Campbell Scott, and Kyra Sedgwick.
The movie centers around a small group of 20-somethings who happen to live in the same apartment building in Seattle, Washington- the grunge music capital of the world. Although it only had moderate success at the box office, the film received mostly positive reviews and has become somewhat of a cult film among '90s music fans.
Although the music scene it documented and championed had since degenerated into the same rock n’ roll clichés it set out to destroy, the movie remains a pleasant throwback of what it meant to have come of age in the turbulent '90s.
In celebration of the film's 30th year, here's a brief rundown of facts about the film, its actors, and what they are up to today.
History of 'Singles'
Before its theatrical release on September 18, 1992, 'Singles' was a screenplay Cameron Crowe had written prior to his 1989 directorial debut movie, 'Say Anything...'. Crowe wrote the screenplay in 1984 and was originally set in Phoenix, Arizona. After noticing the music community in Seattle coming together to process the loss of one of its heroes to a drug overdose ('Mother Love Bone' singer Andrew Wood), he decided to change the setting to Seattle, the same setting he used for his debut film.
Warner Bros. offered Crowe to turn 'Singles' into a television series but the director turned it down. Shortly after, he would learn from The Hollywood Reporter that 'Singles' would become a TV show and would be produced by David Crane and Martha Kauffman. Crowe alerted his lawyer about the show but was unable to stop NBC. Crane and Kauffman’s 'Friends' the TV series debuted in 1994 and incorporated many elements from the movie.
While the success of 'Friends' haunted Crowe for a while, the director has no regrets and is proud of his movie's influence on the show.
Dillon played Cliff Poncier, the extremely dense lead singer for the rock band Citizen Dick. Cliff is in a relationship with Janet Livermore, an architecture student and waitress who happens to live in the same building. Cliff is ready for rockstardom- if only he could get a break.
Matt Dillon has played other comedic roles since Singles, most notably as Pat Healy in 'There's Something About Mary' (1998), David Walsh in 'Employee of the Month' (2004), and Carl Peterson in 'You, Me, and Dupree' (2006). The multi-awarded actor has amassed a formidable body of work since his big screen debut in 1979. His latest film is a comedy opposite Peter Dinklage in 'American Dreamer' (2022)
The Outsiders (1983)
Rumble Fish (1983)
Drugstore Cowboy (1989)
To Die For (1995)
The House that Jack Built (2018)
this band is unstoppable.
In the movie, Fonda stars as Janet Livermore, a romantic but insecure waitress who wants to take her relationship with Foncier to the next level. Her portrayal is arguably the only one in the movie that didn't feel like a complete caricature and her performance gained positive reviews.
The daughter of actor Peter Fonda, Bridget appeared in the critically-acclaimed film 'Jackie Brown' in 1997. Regrettably, the actress has now retired, her last feature-length film being 2001's 'The Whole Shebang.' In 2003, Fonda figured in a car accident that caused a fracture in a vertebra. After dating actor Eric Stoltz for eight years, she would marry Oingo Bongo frontman Danny Elfman and had a son together.
The Godfather Part III - 1990
Single White Female - 1992
Jackie Brown - 1997
A Simple Plan - 1998
SINGLES, Cameron Crowe, 1992 - From A Girl's POV
Steve Dunne lives on the east side of the same apartment building where several of the movie characters live. Steve works for a firm that does city planning when he meets Linda at a gig and the two eventually hook up. A pregnancy scare would drive the two apart and Steve's life slowly unravels.
One of the criticisms the film received was that the Steve Dunne character portrayed by Campbell Scott was unbelievably bland. Somehow, fans had trouble reconciling the supposedly early in his twenties grunge fan with having the insight and wisdom of a middle-aged man. A year before the release of 'Singles,' Scott played a role of a dying leukemia patient opposite Julia Roberts in 'Dying Young.' Unfortunately, Scott brought the same solemnity and gravitas of that character into the Steve Dunne role, making his performance predictable and ultimately, flat.
Campbell has since become a producer and director, most notably for the 1996 movie 'Big Night' which he co-directed with Stanley Tucci. The movie was nominated for the grand jury prize at the Sundance Film Festival. Both would win Best New Director in the New York Film Critics Circle Award and the Boston Society of Film Critics Award. He has over 25 movies as an actor and appeared in the TV political thriller TV series 'House of Cards.' He also starred in 'The Amazing Spiderman' and 'The Amazing Spiderman 2.'
Dying Young - 1991
The Secret Lives of Dentists - 2002
Jeremy Piven in Singles
The casting of Kyra Sedgwick as Linda Powell and Campbell Scott as Steve Dunne was the point of contention among many fans of the movie. While both are talented actors, fans felt that they just didn't have the demeanor or bearing of twenty-something 'kids.' If anything, both looked and felt like parents, particularly Scott.
Sedgwick has had over 70 appearances as an actress on both television and the big screen. Her most recent appearance is in episode #2 of this year's 'The Summer I Turned Pretty.' She also appeared in last year's 'Call Your Mother' and in 'Brooklyn Nine-Nine.'
The Edge of Seventeen - 2016
The Woodsman - 2004
Born on the Fourth of July - 1989