Broadway star Aaron Tveit aka “Danny Zuko” recently premiered his latest indie film Stereotypically You at the Santa Barbara International Film Festival. While romantic comedies tend to skew toward the portrayal of relationship struggles of New York City dwelling, twenty-something women who are unlucky in love, Stereotypically You does offer this time-proven formula, but with a twist. Our protagonist Charlie Carroll (Tveit) is a handsomely charming man who seems unable to find love for one reason or another (more on that later) and follows his journey of ups and downs as a single man in the dating jungle that is NYC.

Tveit, who was most recently seen playing Danny Zuko on the FOX musical Grease: Live, is out of sorts after quitting his job and breaking up with his girlfriend Angela (Abby Elliot). Deeming himself unlovable, his surreal experiences, hallucinations, and flashbacks all center around Angela, as he struggles unsuccessfully to get her off of his mind. His pathetic attempts at speed dating prove a waste of time, but it finally seems as if his luck will turn around in the most unlikely of places.

First off, one has to wonder just why Charlie is single, he’s so handsome and from the picture we’ve been painted, he’s a really sweet guy. One flashback shows an adolescent-aged Charlie bumming over a rejection note from the girl he liked, while his friend plays video games. The question of why was he unlikable as a pre-teen, however, is not clear- so just what is Charlie Carroll’s problem? The audience is never given the opportunity to understand why his relationships fail, it’s like the job interview question, “What’s your biggest flaw?” and the response is “I care too much.” It just doesn’t quite make sense.

Aside from this weak character development, what I found most underwhelming in Stereotypically You, was that the story didn’t feel full or complete, despite strong performances from Tveit, Elliot, Lauren Miller, and Kelen Coleman. One of the most noticeable examples was the lack of score and background music in most scenes. Music could have aided in the film’s fluidity by giving subtextual clues as to what our characters are feeling or thinking, but instead, the lack of sound draws attention to every quiet, awkward moment on screen.

What lacks in originality is compensated for in creativity, with many scenes feeling like zany or outrageous SNL skits. Writer/director Benjamin Cox does create authentically funny moments, like when Charlie’s therapist “breaks up” with him, claiming “It’s not you, it’s me” and that he “Needs to see other people.” The divorce party for Charlie’s friend is another amusing scene, although overall, Stereotypically You seems to just fall a bit short of what it has set out to achieve. That said, I’m sure most viewers would agree that this lighthearted approach to being single in the big city will still make for a casually enjoyable watch.