How to Be Single stars Dakota Johnson (Fifty Shades of Grey, Black Mass), Rebel Wilson (Pitch Perfect, Bridesmaids), Leslie Mann (Knocked Up, The 40 Year Old Virgin), Alison Brie (Community, The Five-Year Engagement) and is directed by Christian Ditter (Love, Rosie).
When Alice (Johnson) breaks up with her boyfriend and moves to New York, she becomes friends Robin (Wilson) who teaches her everything she needs to know about being single. Meanwhile a whole bunch of other people are single and don’t really fit in with the film.
This film disappointed me because with the exception of Rebel Wilson, it’s filled with talented people and actors I’m a fan off but ultimately it’s a bit of a mess. How to Be Single had potential to break the Rom-Com norms and be a fresh new look on a genre that’s been told in every way possible and in some aspects it achieves that but for the most part it fails.
I’m finding it hard to come up with any positives other than it wasn’t completely horrible. It never becomes offensive or so bad you don’t want to watch anymore but it also never did anything exciting or new. Dakota Johnson is essentially the lead and like always she does a good job. She’s a very likable actress and when she’s on screen she has a way of seeming very natural and genuine (I just wish she could get out of the 50 Shades series). Leslie Man plays her sister and is good too but like I’m going to get to later, she’s kinda pointless.
In fact I’m getting to that right now because I’m out of nice things to say about this film. My main issue with this film is that the story isn’t even close to cohesive. There’s a lot of characters, none of which are fleshed out and they don’t come together to form a plot. Alison Brie (whos good in the role) has a side plot, that probably takes up 20 minutes of screen time but isn’t connected to anything else in the film. Characters come in and out of what I thought was Dakota Johnson’s story and make really forced themes and ideas the film never succeeded in telling. There’s a scene towards the end, that’s actually quite touching but isn’t earned and doesn’t fit with the rest of the film you just wasted your time watching.
I’m really don’t like Rebel Wilson. I’ve never found her funny and although she breaks the mold of what a female is ‘supposed’ to look like in Hollywood, she discredits that by being one note and constantly drawing attention to her appearance. I don’t want to compare her to Melissa McCarthy but as she’s obviously trying so hard to be like her, I have to. So imagine a blonde, Australian, non-funny Melissa McCarthy and you get Rebel Wilson.
Something else that isn’t funny is this film. Honestly, I think I laughed once in the entire run time and maybe smiled a few times. The humor was poor and at times lazy. They repeat jokes over and over again and every time they have something funny, it keeps going to the point it’s annoying. There’s a scene when Leslie Mann meets a guy played by Jake Lacy and it’s cute, kinda funny but then the scene carries on and on. This film should have been filled with clever jokes and inventive ways to pick apart dating but constantly reverts back to a stupid raunchy Rebel Wilson joke, who seriously holds the film back.
The overall ending and where character end up was surprisingly not cliche, however the scenarios that lead up to the ending were redundant. I felt like I had seen almost every scene before in better films and every aspect of the plot done better, with interesting characters. This made for a really boring film that felt way too long and probably could have done with cutting the entire Allison Brie storyline. The film has no clue who it wants to be the lead and feels like 3 films shoved together to make one. It has feminist themes and ends on a ‘girl power’ note, that as a 20 year old male didn’t actually just feel like an attack on men but it’s not worth sitting through to get to that point and I think Rebel Wilson does nothing to progress women at all!
Have you seen How to Be Single and what did you think about it?