With the 90s having a major resurgence, I got to thinking about Cameron Crowe doing a sequel to Singles. And then I totally got into it and did a mental storyboard and here’s the movie I absolutely want to see: 

Please note: I loved the shit out of Singleswhen it arrived. I loved the music and the setting and the lifestyle and the cast of characters and grunge and every freaking thing about it. The soundtrack doubled as the soundtrack for the existential angst moments of my young life. I can’t even count how many times I listened to Chloe Dancer/Crown of Thorns while sprawled on my floor making carpet angels of pain.

Surely, I am not the only GenXer out here who wants to see this happen. How these guys are handling their lives is important to me. Here’s where I think some of the characters would be should we check back in with them roughly 25 (gulp) years later.

Cliff Poncier (Matt Dillon) – Cliff now owns the café where he and Janet worked in the movie. He holds court over each new generation of coffee lovers and talks incessantly about music. His purpose in life is to educate anyone within listening radius about the detailed aspects of all the music that he loves, going back to the 70s metal that shaped his tastes and going all the way through to the present day as he “finds” new music to share. The playlists in the café are carefully curated by Cliff and considered a Seattle institution. 

Never married, Cliff has kept busy with a succession of Janets, women devoted to taking care of him and feeding his ego. Once a Janet begins to tire of hearing the same stories again and again or realizes that all the grand plans Cliff expounds on for upgrading the café or getting the band back together are simply never going to happen, Cliff cuts them lose and woos another, usually younger, Janet. When the musicians that have actually made it come back through town, Cliff trades on their long ago acquaintance and secures tickets and backstage passes for the shows, talking about it incessantly and bumping his coolness factor with another round of customers. 

Long time customers are amused by Cliff and his stories but nobody takes him too seriously. He lives in an apartment over the café, as he has for the last twenty-five years. But the weird thing is, he’s perfectly happy. Never one that possessed the ability to look too deeply into things, he has everything he wanted: an adoring daily audience, enough money to live on, good music and good coffee.

Janet Livermore (Bridget Fonda) – Janet did become an architect and then rode the construction wave in the Pacific Northwest to become a nationally known architect. Her firm made serious bank. A naturally savvy businesswoman, Janet’s celebrated in the exclusive circles of Seattle and her philanthropy is heralded. She still has her original boobs. She’s divorced from a failed novelist who took on the role of house husband, so she’s still supporting him financially as well as emotionally and they do still hook up on occasion. He lives in the guest house behind the pool. They have two teenagers who despise them. 

Janet’s started to feel like she lives in an episode of Groundhog’s Daywhere everyday is the same. The same condo building proposal, the same client meetings, the same argument with her kid. She’s tried travel to spice up her life but doesn’t enjoy traveling alone, yoga felt pretentious and online dating was a disaster. She’s ready to do something different but feels obligated to continue to feed the machine so everyone that relies on her stays happy. Frustrated, lonely and disengaged from her kids, Janet is ripe for midlife crises. She’s been going out of her way to grab coffee at Cliff’s café lately and there’s an appraising look in her eye when she looks at him. We all know that’s not going to end well. 

Steve Dunne (Campbell Scott)– After the devastating rejection of his high capacity rail proposal, Steve joined an engineering firm and rode the Pacific Northwest construction boom to a sweet pile of money. His firm paired emerging tech with the needs of the construction industry and pioneered several modeling software setups that are now industry standard. So, a sweet pile of money. He and Linda got married and raised three kids. The kids are all launched now. Steve’s been spending more and more time at their weekend house on Hood Canal. He and Linda’s relationship has evolved into a super polite partnership. Nothing to complain about but about as much passion as a Donny & Marie concert. 

Recently, Steve was asked to teach a class at the U of W and that got him juiced for the first time in years. He’s invigorated by the students and their idealism and is considering making a change to teach more but the call of consulting is strong. As the old saying goes, when you eat what you kill you have to hunt everyday. He hasn’t talked to Linda about any of this because he doesn’t want to be a burden and it’s been so long since they talked about anything of substance, he doesn’t even know where to start. He’s unhappy and broody. In a “Drink Too Much Scotch While Staring Out at the Water While Listening to Pink Floyd” kind of way. He’s waiting. Waiting for a wave to come along and upset the boat. He has no interest in a divorce, it would upset the kids too much and he enjoys his family life. He spends a lot of his energy wondering if this is how it will all go down.

He’s also started to go out of his way to hit up Cliff’s café – talking music with Cliff energizes him and reminds him of how he used to be before he started carrying 25 extra pounds and focusing entirely too much on websites devoted to the nuances of microbrews.

Linda Powell (Kyra Sedgewick) – Ah, Linda. Poor, sweet, nice Linda. Linda put her career on hold when she and Steve had kids. She did the usual heavy volunteer rotation at the kids’ schools until they were off to college and then she went back to work in the non-profit world. Now she works at a foundation for a boss with a giant ego, a bad hairpiece. Her boss is a woman. Linda’s in charge of grants and it should be a dream job but doesn’t find it fulfilling. There’s little contact with the people doing the actual work and attitudes have changed so much in the twenty plus years she was out of the game. She holds herself back with the same self-deprecating shtick she’s been selling for years and her family loathes.

A new program director started working there recently and he’s been wildly flirtatious with her and he’s at least fifteen years younger. Weird thing is, she’s tempted even though it kind of makes her feel gross. It’s been so long since a man found her interesting like that. At home she feels like Steve just sees her as someone’s Chico’s wearing Mom, the way he stares past her all the time and listens to his depressing mix tapes from the 90s. 

Steve waves aside her complaints about her job, telling her to find another one if this too hard because they don’t need to money from her salary. She’d love it if Steve really listened to her, just listened and didn’t have to fix it or explain it to her or excuse her from having to deal with it. She wonders if that’s just how long term relationships are: comfortable but not spectacular. She’s waiting. Waiting to see if she takes the plunge with her charming co worker. Waiting for her boss to get so outrageous, she quits. There’s a deep longing in her soul for something more but she has no idea what that is.

David Bailey (Jim True) – Bailey (as Steve called him), after several false starts in the 90s and early 2000s that left him in dire financial straits now owns a series of wildly successful restaurants and bars in downtown Seattle and the hipper surrounding areas. Bailey has an inappropriately younger wife who has been having a kid a year since they married five years ago and is pregnant with another one. Bailey is also carrying on a torrid, long term affair with a more age appropriate woman, the financial officer for his companies. Steve and Bailey still hang out sometimes but Steve’s pulled back lately because Bailey’s satisfaction with his life gets on Steve’s nerves. Bailey is living his best life. 

Debbie Hunt (Shelia Kelley)– obviously, Debbie is in the Trump administration. 

I truly want to see this movie now. Cameron, get on it.