Tag Archives: Portrait of a Serial Monogamist

Sabrina Jalees Discusses ‘Portrait of a Serial Monogamist’, NBC’s ‘Crowded!’ In New Interview

If you keep up with the Canadian comedy scene, or if you’ve seen shows such as The Nightly Show with Larry Wilmore and Best Week Ever, then it’s likely that you know who Sabrina Jalees is.

If you’re not familiar with the out comedian’s work then you soon will be as not only does she star in new gay film Portrait of a Serial Monogamist but she’s also a writer for the upcoming NBC sitcom, Crowded!


Portrait of a Serial Monogamist follows Elsie, a television producer who always finds herself in relationships and yet cannot recognise the fact that she’s a ‘serial monogamist’. Jalees’ character Sarah on the other hand, “thinks she knows everything about picking up women” but by the end of the movie, the comedian tells AfterEllen, Sarah is “not the player that she thought she was”.

Jalees explains to the publication that Sarah “does talk like she’s pretty smooth, but she also fucks up” and she also notes that the film was “made by and stars a lot of people in the queer community in Toronto”.


Queer films about honest queer characters that are made by actual queer people are hard to come by so it’s probably worth checking out Portrait of a Serial Monogamist during its run in select theatres.

As for her work on the small screen, NBC sitcom Crowded! will debut in March. Jalees explains that the show’s premise is that “two daughters move back in with their parents, who were just about to enjoy having the empty nest and all of a sudden everything’s crowded”.

Jalees also describes one of the daughters, Stella, as “sexually fluid” and that in the first episode that she writes on, Stella “makes out with a girl”.

Rather than being a cheap grab for views though, Jalees confirms that Stella’s fluidity “is part of her identity and she in the first season” and that “she’s very much open to dating more women in the second season”. Set your DVRs for Crowded!’s premiere on Sunday, March 20.

Other sections of the interview that are well worth reading include Jalees’ “unauthorized” beginnings in stand-up comedy as well as her thoughts on being a queer Muslim role model. She explains why she was hesitant to come out, how her parents supported her and how her career has grown since she made that decision.


RomCom ‘Portrait of a Serial Monogamist’ is a Hilarious Take on a Common Lesbian Trope

‘What does a lesbian bring to a first date? A U-Haul!’ We’ve all heard that joke; it’s a ‘humorous’ take on the stereotype that lesbians are obsessed with being in relationships and settling down, before moving in and taking advantage of the world’s changing laws on same-sex marriage.

While there’s very little harm in it (this is one assumption about lesbians that actually works in favour of human rights rather than against them), straight men and women are stereotyped in similar ways when they choose to partner up, and so the trope has become a bit of a joke.

It’s a joke that is being presented to us in movie form with romantic comedy Portrait of a Serial Monogamist. The film, which has been directed and written by Christina Zeidler and John Mitchell, stars Diane Flacks as Elise, a television producer who is somehow always in relationships.


As described in the film’s trailer, she likes to work on these women like a personal project and then once they’re fixed up and she’s done, having written her name at the bottom like a real artist, she ups and leaves and unwittingly finds herself with someone new soon after.

Going off of that description, it’s easy to write Elsie off as a grossly unlikeable character who doesn’t deserve the love of these women she so mercilessly dumps.

However, it was Zeidler and Mitchell’s aim to make a film like High Fidelity, where the lead character lives just like this and yet is still endearing to the audience. Zeidler has explained that they wanted Elsie to be “a fuck up, but funny and charming”.

The loveable side of Elsie also comes through thanks to the fact, Flacks explains, that “she’s quite deluded” and that “she doesn’t really know” that she’s a serial monogamist.


Instead, the actress says,

she’s just kind of doing the right thing by everyone and making sure everyone’s taken care of. And then maybe in the back of her mind there was that DJ/barista, who, you know, you really should check out now that it’s over.”

Mitchell also says that they “wanted the audience to be with Elsie every step of her journey, even if they were disagreeing with her choices. Her behaviour is poor, but somehow you understand and sympathise.”

Just how well the film manages to do that will be seen later this year, as Portrait of a Serial Monogamist has been picked up by Wolfe Release to give the film a US theatrical release.