Singles (1992)

PG-13 | 99 mins | Comedy-drama | 18 September 1992

Writer:

Cameron Crowe

Cinematographer:

Ueli Steiger

Editor:

Richard Chew

Production Designer:

Stephen Lineweaver

Production Company:

Warner Bros. Pictures
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HISTORY

According to a 6 Sep 1992 NYT article, writer-director Cameron Crowe first conceived the story of Singles in 1983. Producer Art Linson planned to re-team with Crowe on the project, which was slated to be the third film in their “teen trilogy” for Universal Pictures, after 1982’s Fast Times at Ridgemont High and 1984’s The Wild Life (see entries), as noted in a 3 Oct 1984 DV news item. The film was budgeted at $7 million, and was scheduled to begin shooting in Jan 1985 in Phoenix, AZ, where the story was set. However, Crowe was encouraged by his mentor, writer-director James L. Brooks, to shelve the project while he wrote and directed Say Anything… (1989, see entry).
       Singles resurfaced several years later, when Art Linson established an exclusive three-year production deal with Warner Bros. A 14 Jan 1991 DV item announced that Singles would be one of Linson’s first Warner Bros. projects, with filming now set to take place in Seattle, WA. Although Cameron Crowe was then residing in Seattle with his wife, Nancy Wilson, of the rock band Heart, the 27 Sep 1992 LAT credited Warner Bros. with the idea for the location shift from Phoenix to Seattle.
       Cameron Crowe kept a journal throughout the production, excerpts of which were published in the 1 Oct 1992 Rolling Stone. According to Crowe’s notes, rehearsals began in Seattle on 25 Feb 1991 and continued for two weeks. Actor Matt Dillon prepared for the role of “Cliff Poncier” by spending time with the real-life musicians who played ... More Less

According to a 6 Sep 1992 NYT article, writer-director Cameron Crowe first conceived the story of Singles in 1983. Producer Art Linson planned to re-team with Crowe on the project, which was slated to be the third film in their “teen trilogy” for Universal Pictures, after 1982’s Fast Times at Ridgemont High and 1984’s The Wild Life (see entries), as noted in a 3 Oct 1984 DV news item. The film was budgeted at $7 million, and was scheduled to begin shooting in Jan 1985 in Phoenix, AZ, where the story was set. However, Crowe was encouraged by his mentor, writer-director James L. Brooks, to shelve the project while he wrote and directed Say Anything… (1989, see entry).
       Singles resurfaced several years later, when Art Linson established an exclusive three-year production deal with Warner Bros. A 14 Jan 1991 DV item announced that Singles would be one of Linson’s first Warner Bros. projects, with filming now set to take place in Seattle, WA. Although Cameron Crowe was then residing in Seattle with his wife, Nancy Wilson, of the rock band Heart, the 27 Sep 1992 LAT credited Warner Bros. with the idea for the location shift from Phoenix to Seattle.
       Cameron Crowe kept a journal throughout the production, excerpts of which were published in the 1 Oct 1992 Rolling Stone. According to Crowe’s notes, rehearsals began in Seattle on 25 Feb 1991 and continued for two weeks. Actor Matt Dillon prepared for the role of “Cliff Poncier” by spending time with the real-life musicians who played his bandmates: Jeff Ament, Stone Gossard, and Eddie Vedder, of the band Mother Love Bone (re-named Pearl Jam during production). Tensions arose when lead actor Campbell Scott arrived in Seattle looking sickly, with very short hair, from his latest film, Dying Young (1991, see entry), in which he played a leukemia patient. Filmmakers procured a wig worn by Scott in Dying Young, but ultimately decided not to use it. Crowe wrote extensively of his difficulty getting along with Scott, who was married the weekend before filming began on 11 Mar 1991.
       Seattle locations included the Desoto nightclub, where the band Alice in Chains was filmed. Principal photography concluded in late May 1991.
       During production, Warner Bros. suggested that the title ingles was outdated. Over the next year, the studio presented Crowe with the following alternatives, including many song titles: Addicted to Love, In the Midnight Hour, Love in Seattle, Leave Me a Message, and Come As You Are. Crowe fought for Singles, which was a dual reference to the cast of single characters and the film’s vignette structure, modeled after song cuts on a rock album.
       The first rough cut of the movie was two hours and forty-five minutes long. In his journal, Crowe wrote of his struggle to preserve a “French Club scene,” despite Warner Bros.’ insistence that it be cut. The scene, which involved Francophile character “David Bailey,” survived many edits, but was eventually taken out. In early Apr 1992, Crowe decided to restore the original ending, “a voice montage of people…obsessing about love,” which had been excised sometime earlier.
       Singles was originally scheduled for a Feb 1992 release, but was delayed due to unsuccessful test screenings, which began in Nov 1991 and continued through late May 1992. When viewers complained that “Steve Dunne” and “Linda Powell’s” reasons for breaking up were unclear, Crowe lobbied for re-shoots, which were approved and took place in Seattle in early Jan 1992. New scenes included one in which Steve calls Linda from a payphone inside a rock club.
       Eager to put out the film soundtrack, which had been readied for the original Feb 1992 release date, Epic Soundtrax obtained permission from Warner Bros. to release the album ahead of the film, in late Jun 1992. In its first ten weeks in release, the soundtrack sold over 700,000 copies, partly due to the rise in popularity of “grunge rock” bands like Pearl Jam and Nirvana. Songs and music videos from the soundtrack received radio and music television airplay, which served to boost Warner Bros.’ confidence in the film’s viability.
       Singles had its world premiere on 6 Sep 1992 at the Montreal Film Festival, as stated in the 9 Sep 1992 DV review. A Los Angeles, CA, premiere party was held at the Park Plaza Hotel ballroom, with live performances from Pearl Jam and Alice in Chains. It opened the following week, on 18 Sep 1992, in over 800 theaters, as noted in the 6 Sep 1992 NYT. Critical reception was largely positive, and the film was a modest commercial success. The 29 Dec 1992 DV box-office chart cited a cumulative box-office gross of $18,323,784.
       An 8 Feb 1991 Screen International item listed Lara Harris as a cast member, but Harris is not credited onscreen.
       End credits include the following statements: “‘My Three Sons’ courtesy of CBS, Inc.; Clip from ‘The French Line’ provided by Turner Entertainment Co.; ‘Nothing Sacred’ photograph copyright Capital Cities/ABC, Inc.; ‘Automat’ by Edward Hopper, Des Moines Art Center Permanent Collection, 1958.2”; “Special Thanks to: The Richard Sakai Fellowship; The City and People of Seattle”; and, “Dedicated to Alice Marie Crowe.” More Less

GEOGRAPHIC LOCATIONS
SOURCE CITATIONS
SOURCE
DATE
PAGE
Daily Variety
3 Oct 1984
p. 1, 20.
Daily Variety
14 Jan 1991
p. 1, 43.
Daily Variety
9 Sep 1992.
---
Daily Variety
29 Dec 1992.
---
Hollywood Reporter
12 Mar 1991.
---
Hollywood Reporter
10 Sep 1992
p. 5.
Los Angeles Times
14 Sep 1992
Section E, p. 2.
Los Angeles Times
18 Sep 1992
p. 1.
Los Angeles Times
27 Sep 1992
Calendar, p. 6.
New York Times
6 Sep 1992
Section A, p. 7.
New York Times
18 Sep 1992
p. 3.
Rolling Stone
1 Oct 1992.
---
Screen International
8 Feb 1991.
---
Variety
14 Sep 1992
pp. 49-50.
CAST
PRODUCTION CREDITS
NAME
PARENT COMPANY
PRODUCTION TEXTS
Warner Bros. presents
An Atkinson/Knickerbocker production
A Cameron Crowe film
NAME
CREDITED AS
CREDIT
DIRECTORS
Unit prod mgr
1st asst dir
2d 2d asst dir
Dir, 2d unit
1st asst dir, 2d unit
PRODUCERS
Co-prod
Assoc prod
Exec prod
WRITER
PHOTOGRAPHY
Dir of photog
1st asst cam
2d asst cam
Steadicam op
Still photog
Spec still photog
Chief lighting tech
Asst chief lighting tech
Key grip
2d key grip
Dolly grip
Dir of photog, 2d unit
1st asst cam, 2d unit
Chief lighting tech, 2d unit
Key grip, 2d unit
Aerial dir of photog, 2d unit
Cam systems by
ART DIRECTORS
Art dir
FILM EDITORS
Film ed
1st asst ed
2d asst ed
Addl ed
Negative cutter
SET DECORATORS
Set dec
Prop master
Asst prop master
Leadman
Const coord
Stand-by painter
Prop master, 2d unit
COSTUMES
Cost des
Cost supv
Cost supv
Costumer
MUSIC
Mus supv
Addl mus
Addl score
Scoring mixer
Re-rec mixer
Re-rec mixer
Re-rec mixer
SOUND
Sd mixer
Supv sd ed
ADR supv
Dial ed
Dial ed
Dial ed
Asst sd ed
Asst sd ed
Asst sd ed
Asst sd ed
Asst sd ed
Asst sd ed
Supv foley ed
VISUAL EFFECTS
FX ed
FX ed
Spec eff
Title supv
Title supv
Opticals
MAKEUP
Key makeup
Asst makeup
Key hairstylist
Asst hairstylist
PRODUCTION MISC
Addl casting
Scr supv
Loc mgr
Exec asst to Art Linson
Prod secy
Asst prod secy
Office space provided by
Prod accountant
Asst prod accountant
Asst to Cameron Crowe
Asst to Richard Hashimoto
Transportation coord
Transportation capt
Unit pub
Craft service
Seattle casting
Extras casting
Prod aide
Prod aide
Prod aide
Prod aide
Prod aide
Prod aide
Prod aide
Prod aide
Prod aide
Prod aide
Helicopter pilot, 2d unit
STAND INS
Stunt coord
COLOR PERSONNEL
Col timing
Col by
SOURCES
SONGS
“Dyslexic Heart,” written by Paul Westerberg, produced by Scott Litt and Paul Westerberg, performed by Paul Westerberg, courtesy of Sire Records
“Birth Ritual,” written by Chris Cornell, Matthew D. Cameron, and Kim A. Thayil, produced by Terry Date, performed by Soundgarden, courtesy of A&M Records
“Would?” written by Jerry Cantrell, produced by Thom Panunzio, performed by Alice in Chains, courtesy of Columbia Records
+
SONGS
“Dyslexic Heart,” written by Paul Westerberg, produced by Scott Litt and Paul Westerberg, performed by Paul Westerberg, courtesy of Sire Records
“Birth Ritual,” written by Chris Cornell, Matthew D. Cameron, and Kim A. Thayil, produced by Terry Date, performed by Soundgarden, courtesy of A&M Records
“Would?” written by Jerry Cantrell, produced by Thom Panunzio, performed by Alice in Chains, courtesy of Columbia Records
“Breath,” written by Eddie Vedder and Stone Gossard, produced by Pearl Jam and Rick Parashar, performed by Pearl Jam, courtesy of Epic Associated Records
“Seasons,” written and produced by Chris Cornell, performed by Chris Cornell, courtesy of A&M Records
“Waiting For Somebody,” written and produced by Paul Westerberg, performed by Paul Westerberg, courtesy of Sire Records
“State Of Love And Trust,” written by Eddie Vedder, Mike McCready, and Jeff Ament, produced by Pearl Jam and Rick Parashar, mixed by Tim Palmer, performed by Pearl Jam, courtesy of Epic Associated Records
“Drown,” written by Billy Corgan, produced by Butch Vig and Billy Corgan, performed by Smashing Pumpkins, courtesy of Caroline Records/Virgin Records America, Inc.
“Overblown,” written by Mudhoney, produced by Conrad Uno, performed by Mudhoney
“Battle Of Evermore,” written by Jimmy Page and Robert Plant, produced by Brett Eliason and Steve Smith, performed by The Lovemongers, courtesy of Capitol Records, Inc.
“Chloe Dancer/Crown Of Thorns,” written by Andrew Wood, Stone Gossard, Jeff Ament, Gregory Gilmore, and Bruce Fairweather, performed by Mother Love Bone, courtesy of Polygram Special Products, a division of Polygram Group Distribution, Inc.
“May This Be Love,” written and performed by Jimi Hendrix, courtesy of Elber B. V.
“Touch Me I’m Dick (Touch Me I’m Sick),” written by Mudhoney, performed by Citizen Dick
“Nearly Lost You,” written by Van Conner, Mark Lanegan, and Lee Conner, produced by Don Fleming, performed by Screaming Trees, courtesy of Epic Records
“Three Days,” written by Eric Avery, Perry Farrell, David Navarro, and Stephen Perkins, performed by Jane’s Addiction, courtesy of Warner Bros. Records Inc., by arrangement with Warner Special Products
“Little Girl,” written by McKinley Morganfield, performed by Muddy Waters, courtesy of MCA Records
“Dig For Fire,” written by Black Francis, performed by The Pixies, courtesy of Elektra Entertainment/4AD, by arrangement with Warner Special Products
“Heart And Lungs,” written by Robert Roth, Mark Pickerel, Chris Quinn, and Hiro Yamamoto, produced by Jon Auer and Truly, performed by Truly, courtesy of Sub Pop Records
“Blue Train,” written and performed by John Coltrane, courtesy of Blue Note Records, a division of Capitol Records, Inc., by arrangement with CEMA Special Markets
“Radio Song,” written by William Berry, Peter Buck, Michael Stipe, and Mike Mills, performed by R. E. M., courtesy of Warner Bros. Records Inc., by arrangement with Warner Special Products
“It Ain’t Like That,” written by Jerry Cantrell, Mike Starr, and Sean Kinney, produced by Thom Panunzio, performed by Alice in Chains, courtesy of Columbia Records
“Family Affair,” written by Sylvester Stewart, performed by Sly & The Family Stone,” courtesy of Epic Records, by arrangement with Sony Music Licensing
“She Sells Sanctuary,” written by Ian Robert Astbury and William Henry Duffy, performed by The Cult, courtesy of Sire Records, by arrangement with Warner Special Products
“Jinx,” written and performed by Tad, courtesy of Sub Pop Records
“Hey Joe,” written by Billy Roberts
“(What’s So Funny ‘Bout) Peace, Love and Understanding,” written by Nick Lowe
“Bring The Noise,” written by Carlton Ridenhour, Hank Shocklee, and Eric Sadler
“My Three Sons Theme,” written by Frank DeVol
“Any Gal From Texas,” written by Ralph Blane, Robert Wells, and Josef Myrow
“Bastards Of Young,” written by Paul Westerberg.
+
DETAILS
Alternate Title:
Addicted to Love
Release Date:
18 September 1992
Premiere Information:
Los Angeles and New York openings: 18 September 1992
Production Date:
11 March--late May 1991
Copyright Claimant:
Warner Brothers, Inc., a division of Time Warner Entertainment Company
Copyright Date:
5 March 1993
Copyright Number:
PA605650
Physical Properties:
Sound
Dolby Stereo ® in Selected Theatres
Color
Duration(in mins):
99
MPAA Rating:
PG-13
Country:
United States
Language:
English
PCA No:
31701
Passed by NBR:
No
SYNOPSIS

In the early 1990s, young, single people navigate the dating scene in Seattle, Washington. Linda Powell is happy that she finally lives alone in a duplex, with a parking space of her own. She works for the Seattle Environmental Council, and, in the aftermath of an oil spill, is trying to arrange a coastal clean-up trip to Alaska. When her car breaks down, a dashing Spanish student named Luiz helps her. He informs Linda that his student visa expires in one week, and the two begin a whirlwind romance. On his last day in Seattle, Luiz gives Linda a ring and promises to return to her in two months. In turn, she gives him her garage door opener and invites him to park in her parking space. Later, Linda goes to a nightclub with her co-worker, Ruth, and sees Luiz with another young woman. They make eye contact briefly, but Luiz shrugs and ignores Linda when she passes him. Devastated, Linda goes to buy a new garage door opener and vows never to lose it again. Elsewhere, Steve Dunne recalls his most recent breakup with a girl named Jennifer. He wishes his romantic life were as simple as a postcard he once received, with a black-and-white photograph of a young couple kissing. When his father abandoned him at an early age, he gave Steve the parting advice, “Have fun. Stay single.” Steve’s twenty-three-year-old neighbor, Janet Livermore, worries that time is running out for her to do something “bizarre.” She takes inspiration from her boyfriend, Cliff Poncier, the front man for a “grunge rock” band called “Citizen Dick.” Even though he is dismissive and openly dates other girls, Janet is ... +


In the early 1990s, young, single people navigate the dating scene in Seattle, Washington. Linda Powell is happy that she finally lives alone in a duplex, with a parking space of her own. She works for the Seattle Environmental Council, and, in the aftermath of an oil spill, is trying to arrange a coastal clean-up trip to Alaska. When her car breaks down, a dashing Spanish student named Luiz helps her. He informs Linda that his student visa expires in one week, and the two begin a whirlwind romance. On his last day in Seattle, Luiz gives Linda a ring and promises to return to her in two months. In turn, she gives him her garage door opener and invites him to park in her parking space. Later, Linda goes to a nightclub with her co-worker, Ruth, and sees Luiz with another young woman. They make eye contact briefly, but Luiz shrugs and ignores Linda when she passes him. Devastated, Linda goes to buy a new garage door opener and vows never to lose it again. Elsewhere, Steve Dunne recalls his most recent breakup with a girl named Jennifer. He wishes his romantic life were as simple as a postcard he once received, with a black-and-white photograph of a young couple kissing. When his father abandoned him at an early age, he gave Steve the parting advice, “Have fun. Stay single.” Steve’s twenty-three-year-old neighbor, Janet Livermore, worries that time is running out for her to do something “bizarre.” She takes inspiration from her boyfriend, Cliff Poncier, the front man for a “grunge rock” band called “Citizen Dick.” Even though he is dismissive and openly dates other girls, Janet is hopelessly devoted to Cliff, who lives in the apartment below hers. One night, Steve Dunne goes to a rock club and notices Linda Powell across the room. Although she rejects his advances, they run into each other later that night at a newsstand and strike up a conversation. Despite Linda’s reluctance to enter into another relationship, the two begin dating. At his Department of Transportation job, Steve makes headway with a proposal for a commuter “Supertrain” that will mitigate traffic, while Linda is granted a boat for her month-long Alaska trip. In the throes of new love, Linda learns she is pregnant. She and Steve debate whether or not to keep the baby. In a park, as Linda eats a chili dog, Steve spontaneously proposes marriage, and she accepts. On their way home, they get into a car accident. Linda wakes up in the hospital with Steve by her side, and guesses correctly that she lost the baby. She falls into a depression. Determining that time alone would be helpful, she goes to Alaska. In the meantime, worried that her breasts are too small for her boyfriend, Cliff, Janet Livermore decides to have breast augmentation surgery. On the day of the surgery, however, Dr. Jeffrey Jamison discourages her from going through with it. The doctor reveals his feelings for Janet and tells her she is perfect the way she is. Janet takes his advice and forgoes the surgery. In a conversation with Steve, she explains the qualities she used to look for in a mate, including good looks, independence, like-mindedness, and intimacy. She says now all she wants is someone who says “bless you” or “gesundheit” when she sneezes. Soon after, at Cliff’s apartment, Janet fakes a sneeze. Cliff fails to say “bless you,” and instead shoves a box of tissues in her lap and urges her not to get him sick. Janet breaks up with Cliff. Instead of feeling heartbroken, she is relieved to be single again. Debbie Hunt, who lives in the same building, decides to use “Expect the Best,” a video dating service that her neighbors gave her as a gag gift. She hires a pretentious young filmmaker to direct her video, and arranges a date with Jamie, an attractive man who is obsessed with bicycling. When Debbie goes to the wrong restaurant, she receives a message from Jamie, suggesting they meet at her apartment. However, Debbie arrives home to find Jamie flirting with her roommate, who offers Debbie eighty dollars for stealing her date and promises to do the dishes for a month. Debbie flies to Mexico alone and is disappointed to be seated by a young boy. However, getting off the plane, she meets the boy’s divorced father and falls in love. The man begins sending flowers on a daily basis, and Cliff, who works part-time for a florist, delivers them. Inspired to win Janet back, he begins leaving flowers in her apartment and installs a new stereo system in her car, but Janet remains uninterested. Meanwhile, Linda returns from her trip to Alaska. Sensing an emotional distance between them, Steve suggests they can be friends instead of lovers. He immediately regrets backing out of the relationship and leaves a heartfelt message on her answering machine, declaring his love. The microcassette tape inside the machine runs out, and Linda never hears the message. She falls back into a stale relationship with Andy, her college boyfriend. After Mayor Weber rejects his Supertrain proposal, Steve quits his job and retreats to his apartment. Janet becomes worried about him and establishes a secret knock. One day, he hears the knock, and is surprised to find Linda at his door. He asks what took her so long, and she jokes that she was stuck in traffic. They embrace, and make love on top of Steve’s garage door opener. Meanwhile, on her way to the parking garage, Janet runs into Cliff. She sneezes, and he says, “Bless you.” Realizing she still loves him, she gazes into his eyes, and they kiss. +

Legend
Viewed by AFI
Partially Viewed
Offscreen Credit
Name Occurs Before Title
AFI Life Achievement Award

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