How to Be Single

Distributed by Warner Bros. Pictures

Reviewed by Melissa Minners


            After seeing hilarious promos for the movie How to Be Single over the past couple of weeks, we decided to check the film out over the Valentine's Day weekend.  Noting the premise behind the movie, this might not be a film to take your Valentine to, but I was sure it would be worth quite a few laughs.  Who knew?

            Based on the novel by Liz Tuccillo, How to Be Single stars Dakota Johnson as Alice, a young woman who, after four years of college, decides to break up with her boyfriend so she can go in search of herself.  Moving to New York City and sleeping on the couch in her sister Meg's (Leslie Mann) condo, Alice embarks on her new job as a paralegal.  It is here, at the law firm, that she meets Robin (Rebel Wilson), a wild and crazy girl who wants to help Alice embark on an adventure into the world of single-dom.

            Robin introduces Alice to Tom (Anders Holm), a bartender who has mastered the art of being single and imparts his wisdom on Alice.  And yet, as good at being single as he is, Tom actually has a crush on Lucy (Alison Brie), a young woman who lives near the bar and is using its Wi-Fi connection to hook up with men on several dating sites.  Lucy is a woman who knows exactly what she wants and won't stop searching until she finds her perfect soulmate. 

            Meanwhile, Alice's sister, Meg, is just searching for the perfect sperm donor.  After years of concentrating on her career as an obstetrician, Meg has now decided she wants to have a baby...just not all the annoying male companionship that comes along with it.  Perfectly willing to do this on her own, she is not counting on a night out with Alice and Robin to be the night she meets Mister Right.  Meanwhile, Lucy keeps meeting Mister Wrong, Tom and Robin continue their bar-hopping and bed-hopping ways and Alice discovers that maybe single life is not all it's cracked up to be.

            Okay, so there are some comedies that give us a peek at the funny in the trailer, but save the real funny for the film.  And then there's How to Be Single.  All of the funny was in the trailer...and that's it.  Rebel Wilson is funny, but raunchy funny and, after a while, her act gets old.  Dakota Johnson is believable as the dysfunctional and deluded Alice who eventually finds herself and makes peace with being single....sorry if I gave something away there, but I doubt you are going to want to see this film anyway, so...let's continue.  The real scene stealer here is Leslie Mann as Meg.  She's hilarious and has all of the less raunchy, funny lines in the film.  Her chemistry with younger man Ken (Jake Lacy) is quite believable and they play off one another well.  In fact, that is the only believable relationship in the film.  Even the Tom/Lucy thing was predictable to me. 

            Honestly, though I did understand the message that How to Be Single was trying to impart to all those single folk out there, I really went to see this film for the comedy I expected from the previews.  Instead, I got a bit of comedy surrounded by the depression of break-ups,  loneliness and a series of one-night stands.  But I must point out the message here in case you want to actually see this movie based on it's intelligence aspect - you will never find love until you can accept who you are...until you find out who that person is inside you, you will never find another person who can be your soulmate.  And that's okay, because the alternative means just going through the motions of being happy, a process that usually has a tragically depressing ending.  Of course, this enlightened message is hard to see amidst the drunken partying and bed-hopping.

            So, check out the trailer for How to Be Single...even check out whatever snippets of scenes might be posted on YouTube, but I wouldn't go spending your hard earned money seeing this film in the theaters.  This is a movie best watched at home as a rental.


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