Picks and Pans Review: Singles

updated 09/21/1992 AT 01:00 AM EDT

originally published 09/21/1992 AT 01:00 AM EDT

Kyra Sedgwick, Campbell Scott, Bridget Fonda, Matt Dillon

Cameron Crowe, who wrote and directed this film, wrote 1982's Fast Times at Ridgemont High. He approached both films with the same patronizing altitude toward his characters, making the movies resemble trips to the monkey house.

The subject primates in this case are young, unmarried adults who live mostly in an apartment building in Seattle. Crowe's shallowness is typified by the fact that the redoubtable Sedgwick (Mr. and Mrs. Bridge) plays a bright, concerned ecology crusader who treats her garage-door remote control as her most prized possession. Crowe also matches the similarly blank-faced Dillon and Fonda as a couple, although Dillon, as leader of a rock band called Citizen Dick, is so flagrantly irresponsible and inconstant he seems to be a charity case for her. Crowe treats Scott (Dying Young), who plays an intense traffic engineer, with more respect, though he too is inordinately obsessed with romance.

Crowe's excuse for making this movie would seem to be the flourishing rock-music subculture in Seattle. The sound track is devoted to such Seattle bands as Pearl Jam, Sound-garden and Alice in Chains, though Nirvana is conspicuously absent. None of the bands stands out.

Crowe's script relies for humor on such puerile notions as the supposed similarity between the words Spam and sperm, and such dullard's epigrams as "It's better to be the dumper than the dumpee." (PG-13)

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