Spinster | Chicago Reader
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Spinster

“People are dicks to single women.” The sentiment isn’t uttered until about three-fourths of the way into the film, but it’s the defining thesis of director Andrea Dorfman’s dramedy. On her 39th birthday Gaby (Chelsea Peretti in her first starring feature role) is dumped by her accidental live-in boyfriend and gets consumed by the idea of being alone forever, prompted mostly by the family, friends, and strangers around her. What comes next is a refreshing midlife coming-of-age story. Gaby isn’t a slacker and doesn’t lack direction, she isn’t overly obsessed with love or woefully undateable. The path to discovery is filled instead with appreciation for all the things she really wants in life—a relationship with her niece, her own business, a “used” dog. While there are glimpses of Peretti’s signature sarcasm and ribbing in the funniest moments of the film, she grounds the film with a deeply genuine and emotional performance, especially in scenes with her niece Adele, played by charming newcomer Nadia Tonen. Without contrivances or cliches, Spinster is a breezy, feel-good watch about carving your own path—and a strong case for many more Peretti-driven films in the future.

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