The synopsis of Social Animals says and I quote “A childless, single, broke, stoner attempts to salvage her failing business and love life while falling in love for the first time with a married man.” That is how the film is being sold. Social Animals is literally a film about a 30-year-old stoner living in Texas’s liberal refugee camp known as Austin. She owns what barely qualifies as a business, waxing vaginas for a living, she lives in a mini trailer on land she does not own, takes Polaroids of her one night stands while wondering why she has never been in love. She has no kids, no money, no plan, hooks up with a married man with three kids, and FOR SOME REASON can’t figure out why her life is falling apart. This film paints progressives in such a negative light; I thought the writer was a conservative…or at least is conservative and not know it yet.
This film is a scathing look at the lives of progressive Millennials who have trouble with a little thing calling “being an adult”. There are no protagonists or antagonists because everyone in the film is a horrible person. The rundown: You have the main character of Zoe, who has the maturity of a girl half her age. Her best friend who is engaged to a cartoonish republican that can’t have sex with her without first putting on the mask of George W Bush. Then you have the married couple, who after three kids just can’t adjust to the life of a married couple so they encourage each other to have an affair before ultimately deciding on a divorce.
This film is begging for a hipster self-reflection that never happens. Think about it, here you have a film that mocks the idea of traditional marriage and relationships. Marriage is viewed as more trouble than it’s worth and kids are viewed as an emotional drag on the parents. Meanwhile, our main character has casual sex with dozens of men, but sees no value in a relationship until “OMG I’m 30 and single now”. Her friend tries to help but she is in a toxic relationship as well, so who is she to judge.? Whether you are single, engaged, or married everyone is unhappy because that’s just the way life is right…right?
What I find amazing about this film is that everyone is miserable, but no one seems to know why. Progressive metropolitans like Austin has such a pessimistic view of life, things that bring people real happiness like marriage, children, and ambition are looked at with such a negative view that the people who have these negative views can’t figure out why they are the most unhappy out of everyone. I mean it’s no wonder why Depression is up 33% with people in the same age range as the people in this film if this is how they are living their lives and looking at life, the problem isn’t society, it’s them. The ‘happy ending’ is when both married couples get a divorce and now the dad is free to sleep with Zoe in her trailer without the guilt of being married with three kids.
If you find this film in any way relatable, it’s time to have a long hard look in the mirror because you are doing something if not everything wrong. Social Animals might be a painfully awful comedy, but it is a great instruction manual on how NOT to live your life and that is the only reason to watch this film.
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