How to Be Single Brings Some Laughs and Lots of Cliches

How to Be Single Brings Some Laughs and Lots of Cliches

Photo Credit: Teaser Trailer

How to Be Single stars Dakota Johnson as a newly single college graduate who tries to get over her boyfriend by checking out New York’s social scene. Her promiscuous best friend (Rebel Wilson) and older sister Meg (Leslie Mann) are also single.

Based loosely on a novel by the co-author of He’s Just Not That Into You, it blends a number of so-so romantic comedies into one, depicting the amorous misadventures of young and, one not-so-young, New Yorkers as they go searching for love in all the wrong places.

Alice is on a quest to “find herself,” while Robin promises to guide her through the wonders of single life, while Alice’s older sister Meg, who is a successful obstetrician, proudly declares that she doesn’t need a man, or a baby. Of course, that’s pretty much a guarantee that by the time the credits role, she’ll end up with both.

The problem is, Nicolas Rapold of the New York Times writes, that neither the movie nor Johnson gives Alice “enough of a pulse to covey the complexity of her quest to find herself.”

While all of the main stars in the film have been both charming and funny in previous movies, it’s only Wilson that really stands out. Still, as US magazine’s Mara Reinstein notes, while Wilson, is a burst of energy as always, her “happy-go-lucky Robin has essentially been plucked from Pitch Perfect and renamed.”

That doesn’t mean that it’s a complete loss. Reinstein adds,  “It’s still a pleasure to see a slew of actresses not playing the stock girlfriend — and not all narrowly focused on finding a man,” and The Wrap’s Alonso Duralde says that “the script offers enough laughs to keep the movie from feeling completely disposable.”

“Clearly,” Duralde says, “How to Be Single is being offered up on a Valentine’s Day weekend as bait for groups of unattached female friends looking for a fun night out, and their enjoyment of what’s on offer here will probably correlate to how many margaritas they consumed beforehand. But even if they’re only occasionally amused, at least they’ll be spared the weird toxic anti-woman messages that so many films of this ilk tend to foist upon the unsuspecting. There are, cinematically speaking, worse ways to be.”

And Hollywood Life’s Dory Larrabee-Zayas seems to agree, at least with part of that assessment. She calls it the “perfect Galentine date” and a “hysterical new comedy” and the “audience was in stitches from beginning to end.”