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A rom-com that doesn’t quite deliver, but will still keep you entertained.

 

Women should know who they truly are without having to depend on somebody else to help them figure that out. How to Be Single encourages women to think this way by following the story of Alice (Dakota Johnson), a girl who is determined to figure out who she is without being under the influence of her current relationship. This film will help you feel a little more inspired to be more independent, even if you’re in a healthy relationship. However, it will leave you feeling confused on whether you actually liked the movie or not.

The film starts off with bouncing back and forth between four different women in their four different stories. We see Alice who is taking a break from her boyfriend, Meg who is a busy doctor with baby fever, Robin who is the party girl, and Lucy who is determined to find Mr. Right by using online dating sites. The beginning of the film makes you believe that we will see all four women’s stories in-depth throughout the entire film, but it actually revolves more closely around Alice. Alison Brie’s character was such a minimal role that it’s almost surprising how she is even on the movie poster.

First let’s focus on the good. Alice’s character was well done to make her relatable to a lot of women. She’s been in this long term relationship and realizes that she has hardly done anything she’s wanted to do for herself. After she takes a break from her boyfriend, she quickly realizes there’s a lot more she has to achieve, like learning how to unzip her dress by herself and learning how to properly use the remote control. As silly and miniscule as these things are, they are easy to relate to a bigger picture. Single women will be inspired to find who they really are before jumping into any relationship and women in relationships will be inspired to find their own individuality outside of their relationship.

Dakota Johnson did a great job at portraying Alice. She was quirky and quiet, but still knew what she wanted in the end. Rebel Wilson was your typical Rebel Wilson, funny and awkwardly witty. The rest of the cast seemed to fit their characters well, even if their characters weren’t given enough attention. That’s basically the biggest thing I had hoped for with this film. If you’re going to introduce different characters the way they did, I would like to really be able to dive in and understand why they are the way they are.

Overall, this film did help me feel inspired to appreciate my own individuality, even being a married woman. It also demonstrates that it is perfectly okay to lean on your friends, family, and beliefs to help you figure yourself out because you don’t have to do it alone completely. Even though the scenarios touched in this film were cliche, they’re generic enough to apply it to your own life.

How to Be Single is full of all the necessities that people look for in a rom-com. There is some romance, humor, a little bit of cheese, and the dramatic storyline. However, it fell short of being the next big thing because of how scattered the stories and characters were.

So now let’s focus on the not so good. Halfway through the film we were introduced to another character played by Damon Wayans Jr., in which we skim the surface of his story for a brief moment. A few other characters like this seemed to be thrown into the mix for no reason. Each character had a different perspective on love and where they stood with it which can be appreciated, but because of how lightly it was portrayed made it a little difficult to really get invested into their story.

The writing was lackluster for me. There were just too many things that made me think, “Yeah right”. Take for example, after Alice’s first day at her new professional job she went out drinking with a new friend in which they both showed up three hours late to work the next day without any retribution. Or the time Alice met a guy for the second time and they seemed to fall in love. I know a lot of rom-coms have those dramatic ‘yeah right’ moments, but this film seemed to have too many thrown in quickly without really delving into the situation. As a viewer I wanted to know why things are happening, not give the movie the benefit of the doubt.

I was really hoping for a film that showed closely the different ways different women deal with being single. How to Be Single tries to do this, but the other stories outside of Alice’s were never developed like they could have been. My friend and I were entertained by it enough, so if you’re looking for a good alternative for a Valentine’s Day movie other than Deadpool, this could do. But I wouldn’t go with the expectation of being blown away by it. Would I watch it again? On Netflix, sure. Would I want to own it on Bluray? Nah. How to Be Single is inspiring enough for women to celebrate their own stories, entertaining enough to watch it without wishing for your money back, but flat enough overall to make you wish it give the audience more than it promised.

Directed By: Christian Ditter

Produced By: Drew Barrymore, Dana Fox, John Rickard

Written By: Abby Kohn, Marc Silverstein, Dana Fox

Starring: Dakota Johnson, Rebel Wilson, Leslie Mann, Alison Brie

Distribution Company: Warner Bros.

Release Date: February 12, 2016

Run Time: 110 minutes

Rating: R

 

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