Spinster is a term that is fittingly out of fashion in the 21st century. In days gone by the word spinster referred to a woman who had aged out of the demographic in which women typically marry and have children. But a 2019 Canadian film (screenplay by Jennifer Deyell and scenically directed by Andrea Dorfman) puts a refreshing spin on that archaic shibboleth. Appropriately, and with subtle sarcasm, this unique dramedy is titled Spinster.
Its focus is on Gaby, an entrepreneurial caterer (a wonderfully deadpan performance by Chelsea Peretti), who on her 39th birthday arrives at her Halifax, Nova Scotia apartment only to find her boyfriend of 90 days moving from their shared abode. He confesses to Gaby that all he had in mind was a quick fling, not a long lived relationship; further, he informs Gaby that he never felt attracted to her. Ouch!
Gaby’s close friend, Amanda (played by Canadian actress Susan Kent), who’s a married mother, persuades Gaby that she’s not off the marriage/motherhood market and to keep open to a relationship. But after arranging for a date on the Tinder app, Gaby becomes even more disappointed at her prospects when her Tinder man leaves in haste after some bedtime intimacy.
After this disastrous hookup, Gaby chooses to assert herself in present mindedness and not live life in search of or contingent on a marriage partner. Blessed with a gift of money given to her by her father, in lieu of funding a expensive wedding celebration and after a mind changing chat with her neighbor, a retired professor who’s unmarried and childless (the marvelous Kate Lynch), Gaby directs her passion for food preparation into a restaurant of her own, which she names after her newly adopted dog and opens for business on her 40th birthday.
Not only is Spinster an engaging story with a stellar cast, it’s also an intelligent, thought-provoking film with a perspective that explores the meaning of commitment, independence, and choices. At 87 minutes in length, Spinster makes for wise and engaging entertainment.
Spinster is currently streaming on Amazon Prime.