Animated Documentary Makes Single Women Look Comically Pitiful


The animated musical Getting Over Him in 8 Songs or Less, about filmmaker Debra J. Solomon‘s divorce and subsequent self-discovery, combines everything that’s pathetic and cliched about Cathy cartoons and sad-sack feminism, resulting in unintentional hilarity.

The film—which is mercifully only 30 minutes long—uses Solomon’s narration, animation, and original songs to tell her story about the shock, depression, and self-healing she experienced after her husband came home one day and announced that he was leaving her, and had already rented himself a new apartment. The news came on the heels of Debra’s tinnitus diagnosis and termination from her job. While the culmination of these events—which aren’t that uncommon—could potentially provide plenty of inspiration for material that delves into emotional exploration and understanding, Solomon’s portrayal of her foibles (annoying friends and family with her venting, imposing herself upon her neighbors, eating her feelings, her love of shopping, etc.) actually have no depth at all, and makes the film seem more like an explanation of sad single women for a kindergarten audience. (One of her biggest insights is “I think I’m gonna be OK after all.”)

The following are the titles of the songs she wrote for the film:
“How Can You Leave?”
“What’s the Matter with Me?”
“I Want to Know Everyone”
“Teach Me to be a Woman”
“Everything I Need Is at the Drug Store”
“Sea of Second Chances”
“Click” (About her adventures in internet dating.)
“Nothing Is the Matter with Me”

The song “I Want to Know Everyone” is my personal favorite. It’s about how Solomon moved into a high-rise apartment building after her divorce, and, after attending group therapy, decided that she should meet and become best friends with her much younger neighbors, in a sort of deluded Friends fantasy. One of the ways she went about it? Stealing people’s laundry from the laundry room and leaving a ransom note, telling them to come get their clothes from her apartment. Can you imagine how pissed off those people were? A sample of her lyrics: “What are ya doin’, tell me, today?/ What are ya thinkin’? I won’t go away.”

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