Movie Review: “How to Be Single”

In this friendly comedy, several women learn what it means to be single and the many ways to go about it. Starring Dakota Johnson, Rebel Wilson, Alison Brie, and Leslie Mann, each woman has their own path on the road of singledom and different ways of handling the ups and downs. Check out the trailer!

The story follows Alice (Johnson) as she decides to take a break from boyfriend Josh (Nicholas Braun) to experience being single. She moves into New York City to begin work as a paralegal where she meets fellow worker Robin (Wilson). As a party-loving, wild girl, Robin promises to show Alice the ropes of what it means to be single in the great NYC. Along for the ride is Alice’s sister Meg (Mann) whom she temporarily crashes with while getting used to the city life. The two frequent a local bar owned by Tom (Anders Holm) who quickly becomes Alice’s occasional bedtime partner. Or whatever is a nice way to say friend with benefits. Lucy (Brie) lives above the bar and comes downstairs to abuse the free Wi-Fi. Throw all these characters into a cocktail shaker, add ice, alcohol, and shake it up.

Movies_HowToBe-Singlepic-200x300Each character represents their own arc which intertwines with everyone else’s, similarly in the vein of Love Actually or Valentine’s Day. My favorite story line is Mann’s character Meg who after many years of being a successful, unwed doctor decides she wants to be a mom and undergoes IVF (In Vitro Fertilization). Shortly after she meets a coworker of Alice’s named Ken (Jake Lacy). All she wants is a one night stand, but he’s smitten and their levels of weird are pretty perfectly balanced. She manages to hide her pregnancy for a while, but when he catches her with an obvious bump in the middle of a baby store, cat’s out of the womb.

Meanwhile, each of the other girls are trying to find someone either for the night or for the long haul. But when it comes to dating, you never know which it might be. As a single woman, a lot could be taken from this film. The struggle to let someone in, the pain of losing someone you thought would be your partner for life, the subtle awkwardness of waking up in a bedroom that’s not yours, and plenty more. But really, the most important part about being single, is how freaking great it is to not be accountable for anyone else. Maybe I’m selfish in that regard. Dating is a struggle to be sure, and there is plenty of stress over finding someone worthy enough to spend time with. But what this movie imparts in my opinion is that being single means either sleeping with a bunch of guys or trolling dating websites for “the one.” Which is why Mann’s story is the best to me. She decides to spend her life on her career, and decides that she can be a single mom. And even when she finds a guy she happens to feel something for, she tells him that she’s not picking him because she can’t handle it. She’s picking him because she loves him.

Overall, the casting in this movie is great. Wilson, Brie, Mann, and even Johnson play their parts very well. The supporting cast of guys features some amazing actors like Holm, Damon Wayans Jr., and Jason Mantzoukas. But to me, that’s where the enjoyment of this film ended. To be sure, the cinematography of New York City is beautiful. But by itself New York City is beautiful. The story jumped around and confused time. There were occasional reminders of how long it had been, and at times you could vaguely tell by the season change. But overall I couldn’t tell what story they were trying to tell and in what fashion. In my opinion, the story would have been better if it was about Rebel Wilson’s character. However if you’re in for the night with your girls and a bottle of wine, try this film out and see if you like it. For me, not something I will watch again. Just too much of a downer for this woman who is perfectly happy to be single.

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