Review by Adam Winn, Staff writer
“How to Be Single” is a new film that tries to jump on the bandwagon with other female ensemble comedies, such as “Bridesmaids” and “Pitch Perfect.” While this film contains its fair share of comedic moments and decent performances, it ultimately fails to provide anything innovative or original that separates it from the rest of the standard rom-coms produced nowadays.
This film, much like the title says, is about being single and how people don’t need a significant other in order to complete themselves. It tells the story of several different women exploring the single lifestyle. The story primarily centers on a woman named Alice (Dakota Johnson) who, after graduating college, decides to take a break from her long-time boyfriend Josh (Nicholas Braun) so she can “figure out who she is” and moves to New York City.
Not long after arriving, she takes a job as a paralegal at a prestigious law firm and becomes friends with her co-worker Robin (Rebel Wilson). Robin, however, is a non-stop party girl and spends her time bouncing between bars night after night. She decides to take Alice under her wing and begins teaching her the ways of being single, which apparently includes tons of alcohol, parties and one-night stands.
Alice’s single, older sister Meg (Leslie Mann), whose apartment Alice has been crashing at, doesn’t approve of her younger sister’s newfound party habits but still supports her regardless. Alice finally tries to figure out if she’s just biding her time between relationships or if there’s actually much more to being single than just a string of hook-ups and disappointments.
As a whole, the film felt very disjointed and kept bouncing around between different storylines. It also consistently made unnecessary time jumps, which caused the audience to get confused as to how much time has transpired between events.
The movie also contained a lot of needless supporting actors such as Lucy and David, played respectively by Alison Brie and Damon Wayans Jr. While these two individual characters bring their own unique presence to the film, they actually serve no real purpose and could have easily been written out of the script and it wouldn’t have affected the overall plot.
The running time for the movie is just under two hours long, and while it wasn’t too dreadfully lengthy, some of the scenes could have been deleted or shortened and it would have made the film much more enjoyable to sit through.
One of the most entertaining things about this picture was the solid, comedic acting performances by the entire cast. All of the actors did the best they could with the parts they were given, which helps to elevate the film above its obvious storytelling flaws.
The performance that stuck out the most was that of the boozy, party girl Robin. She owned every scene that her character was in and is certain to have the viewer trying to hold back laughter.
If theatergoers are looking for an R-rated comedy movie that has thought-out performances, some commendable comedy and contains a light-hearted, decent plot, then this is a good flick to check out. On the other hand, if the audience is looking to see something that is unique and contains non-stop laughter, the viewer would be better off watching a movie like “Deadpool.”