Posted February 28, 2016
By CLARISSA BUCH
Valentine’s Day weekend calls for yet another romantic comedy to release in theaters. This year, “How to Be Single” was it. As a flick geared at 20-somethings, “How to Be Single” blends HBO’s “Girls” and “Sex and the City” into one romance-filled rant preaching the fact that it’s okay to be single, even on Valentine’s Day.
Though its set up to be a pseudo-guide on how to be single, the film serves more as an expose of each woman’s different experiences, shamelessly attempting to resonate with every type of movie-goer.
The script, by Abby Kohn, Marc Silverstein and Dana Fox, is based on the 2008 novel by Liz Tuccillo. The film was directed by Christian Ditter, who directed 2014’s “Love, Rosie,” another romantic comedy.
Dakota Johnson, who released “Fifty Shades of Grey” last Valentine’s Day, stars as Alice, who recently split from her long-time college boyfriend in hopes of finding herself; Rebel Wilson, who plays Robin, is Alice’s closest friend and makes it her duty to guide Alice through living the single life to the fullest extent – which means late nights, bar brawls and a plethora of one-night stands.
Leslie Mann, who plays Meg, is Alice’s over-achieving, “I don’t need a man” older sister. She’s an OB/GYN toying with the idea of artificial insemination because, again, she doesn’t need a man. And Alison Brie, who plays Lucy, is the ultimate queen of online dating, hoping to find a husband.
The four Brooklyn-based women share one thing: They’re single. But not all of them want a beau. Wilson prides herself on living a boyfriend-free lifestyle, and Meg preaches that her career takes priority over finding a spouse.
But, every romantic comedy needs semi-depressed, love-sick characters. Alice and Lucy are them, both searching for men in their own way. Lucy is a fierce proponent of online dating, while Alice juggles exes, one-night hook ups, flings, with the goal of one sticking around for good.
Though the film appears to be just another chick-flick, there’s a deep message imbedded within the movie. Sift through empty bottles, morning-afters and lots of tears, and find a story of a girl trying to find her own identity sans a man.
Alice struggles with her newfound independence throughout the story and discovers that she often lets a man dictate her personality and goals. She’s learns that she’s easily morphed by men, like a chameleon that changes colors based on its environment.
Toward the end of the film, with the help of Robin, Alice realizes a woman doesn’t need a man to be fulfilled. And, as things often work themselves out, when the time is right, the right man will come – which is proved in Meg and Lucy’s story lines.
The most important takeaway from “How to Be Single” is the understanding that it’s vital to love yourself before you give yourself to someone else. Especially for 20-somethings, the movie reminds viewers that there are decades of years ahead and, often, very little of that time is spent alone – though it might not feel that way.
In a very “Sex and the City,” Carrie Bradshaw-type way, the movie ends with an inspirational message from Alice, preaching of the beauty and importance of being, living and experiencing life and its wonders alone.
Though cliché and overly predictable at times, the moral of “How to Be Single” saves it from being just another depressing Valentine’s Day movie.
For shameless fans of chick-flicks and romantic comedies, “How to Be Single’s” moral makes it worth seeing.
But, for everyone else, whether or not you want to shell out $20 (because popcorn and candy are always a movie-must) on this female-centered film, that’s up to you.
- Title: “How to be Single”
- Release Date: Feb. 12, 2016
- Distributor: Warner Brothers
- Leading Actors: Dakota Johnson, Rebel Wilson, Leslie Mann
- Director: Christian Ditter
- Run Time: 110 minutes
- Local Screenings: AMC Aventura 24; iPic Theaters at the Intracoastal Mall
- Price: $12 for adults; $9 for children
- MPAA: R – sexual content and strong language
- Reviewer’s Rating: 3/5