(In French, On Cable TV, May 2019) It’s remarkable what difference a few years can make at some crucial junctions. If you’re not a kid at a time when a kid’s movie is released, the film will not reach you in quite the same way. The same goes for other movies aimed a very specific age group even later on. As a late and reluctant member of the Gen-X generation (my parents were boomers, so I’m clearly obviously “Echo” rather than the forgotten cohort in between Generation X whose definition keeps changing … but don’t get me started on generational cohorts), I often feel as if I was slightly too young to fully appreciate the classic Gen-X movies as they were released. Singles, for instance, features actors ten years older than me playing characters roughly five years older than me—and that can be a significant difference as a teenager if you’re using university as a significant dividing line. All of this to say that I never saw Singles in theatres, and never had any real desire to see it since then. But now that I’m systematically investigating 1990 movies, Singles stands as a beacon of sorts—widely recognized as a major movie of its generation (I can effortlessly find no less than five “defining movies of Gen-X” lists that mention it, usually in the top ten). It certainly captures a defining time and place—Early-1990s Seattle, with grunge set against an endless backdrop of coffee stores. Our titular “Singles” means both the ensemble cast and a central apartment building not geared toward couples or families. The plot is conventional in the romantic comedy vein, but more interesting than usual in its execution. Writer-director Cameron Crowe was hitting his peak cultural relevance at the time, and his eye for hipness certainly carries throughout the entire film from fashion to musical choices. Obviously, it’s all romanticized, almost fetishized—but at least it’s absorbing enough to keep our interest throughout. It helps that the film features pretty actors—Kyra Sedgwick is Julia-Roberts-level good-looking here, and in between a very cute Bridget Fonda, Campbell Scott, and Matt Dillon the film has enough eye candy to catch anyone’s eyes. There is a place for movies that firmly (even consciously) mark a definite time and place, and I suspect that the specificity of Singles, having crossed over to period-piece status, will keep acting as a time capsule of sorts for a specific generation … even if it happens to be not quite mine.