Some would say being single sucks, so you might ask why would they make a movie telling us how to get there? Well we have plenty of films that show us how to meet “the one”, or at least show a character meeting the “one.” Happy endings have been thrust upon us since childhood as we always heard how we would meet our prince or princess one day and live happily ever after. As a single guy in my forties, I have found out that that fairy tale is not true, and you don’t need some one as in Jerry McGuire’s words “To complete me.” Now this I know might not be how most people think, but I think I found the movie that is the voice of the ones that do. Here is “How to be Single”.
Alice (Dakota Johnson) has been with Josh (Nicholas Braun) all through college. Her whole life she has never known the feeling of being on her own, so she decides to take a break from hers and Josh’s relationship and move to New York City. On the first day at work she meets Robin (Rebel Wilson), who lives the single life to the max, and convinces Alice to go out with her so she can show her how to be single. They end up at a bar owned by Tom (Anders Holm) who Alice gets together with, but Tom is in it for the fun, and nothing more. Alice thinks she wants to find the one to be with which leads her to meet David (Damon Wayans Jr.), who is a single father still trying to cope with his wife’s death. Through this all by Alice’s side is her sister Meg (Leslie Mann), as Alice figures out the single life is not so bad after all.
Everything starts off like a typical rom com, with a song that will feel dated when you watch this five years from now opening the movie. Things though take a turn when Wilson shows up, as her full repertoire is on display. If Wilson wasn’t enough, Mann also provides the film with another bright spot as she shows you can never go wrong by adding her to your movie. Written by Abby Kohn, Marc Silverstein, and Dana Fox, from a book by Liz Tuccillo, the movie sort of feels like a survival guide to being young and single. While it falls into the cliché traps sometimes with the music and some of the story points along the way for Alice to find what she wants, it is overall a fun movie. It often feels like Johnson’s character is the emotional center, and that everyone else is just having fun around her.
With great supporting performances by Wilson, Mann, Alison Brie, Jake Lacy, and Jason Mantzoukas, in other words the pieces do make up the sum of the whole. I had fun with this movie, and laughed plenty of times, and can say this is a movie that while you ladies might have to drag a guy into see it, they will come out thanking you that you did. It is about time the single life is celebrated, with a lot of laughs along the way, this is how you make a romantic comedy for the masses.