Singles: The Movie that Defined a Generation

If there is one movie that defines Generation X, it would have to be the 1992 grunge classic Singles (its 1994 counterpart, Reality Bites, was a much inferior film in my opinion). Directed by Cameron Crowe, Singles is a quirky, romantic comedy, which stars Bridget Fonda, Campbell Scott, Kyra Sedgwick, and Matt Dillion. The film is set in Seattle and features well-known grunge bands and musicians like Soundgarden and members of Pearl Jam. The plot centers around two couples who are trying to navigate the dating world of Seattle in the nineties.

I remember seeing it with my brother and cousin in Tulsa. I hadn’t heard much about it beforehand, so I didn’t know what to expect. I was pleasantly surprised, and it definitely facilitated my journey into the world of Seattle grunge bands and alternative music.

If you are unfamiliar with this movie and the Seattle music scene in the nineties, it might help you to understand that the Singles soundtrack, which was released three months prior to the film, became as much of a sensation as the movie, maybe more so. It was a kind of who’s who of popular Seattle bands at the time.

Whenever I see the iconic pictures from the movie poster or soundtrack, or hear the Chris Cornell song, “Seasons,” I get nostalgic for the grunge era. I still remember the youthful excitement surrounding the movie and its music. It brings back sweet memories of friends, adolescence, and simpler times.

I actually got to go to Seattle a few years ago (well before CHAZ) with my wife to visit her cousin and family. She took us by one of the locations from the film (Linda’s apartment). It was kind of surreal seeing something in person from a film that made such a profound impact on me in my youth. I loved visiting Seattle. The Pacific Northwest was stunningly beautiful. I’m also a Frasier fan, so that was another draw to Seattle for me.

It’s been 29 years since Singles came out. It was much more than just a movie. It was a cultural phenomenon. One could argue that it helped nationalize the Seattle music scene and spur the grunge movement. It seems like a moment frozen in time. Things are much different now. That was before we had cell phones and the internet. So maybe part of my nostalgia for the movie stems from the fact that in our free time back then, instead of getting on our cell phones or streaming a movie on our smart TV’s, we’d simply pop in our favorite CD, like Pearl Jam’s Ten, and listen to some good music.

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