Movie ReviewsYou’re Doing it Wrong (How To Be Single Review)

Keith NoakesFebruary 13, 2016

There’s a right way to be single, a wrong way to be single, and then there’s Alice (Dakota Johnson). And Robin (Rebel Wilson). Lucy (Alison Brie). Meg (Leslie Mann). Tom (Anders Holm). David (Damon Wayans Jr.). New York City is full of lonely hearts seeking the right match, be it a love connection, a hook-up, or something in the middle. And somewhere between the teasing texts and one-night stands, what these unmarrieds all have in common is the need to learn how to be single in a world filled with ever-evolving definitions of love. Sleeping around in the city that never sleeps was never so much fun.

This isn’t about me. Because there aren’t enough female-centered dramedies, here’s another called “How To Be Single”. For those who don’t know, this isn’t a how to guide on how to be single but just a film about a bunch of young people with varying degrees of relationship problems living in New York City. Alice (Johnson) is a woman who has never been alone in her life. When she decides to take a “break” from her boyfriend Josh (Nicholas Braun), she moves to New York to live with her sister Meg (Mann) and begins to work as a paralegal at a law firm alongside Robin (Wilson) who she later befriends. Robin takes Alice under her wing and teaches her the right way to be single. This way seemed to consist of constant partying, sleeping around with strangers. She meets a few new men along the way including bartender Tom (Holm) and real estate developer David (Wayans Jr.). She is conflicted however as she still has feelings for Josh and him for her. Alice’s sister Meg (Mann) is a doctor whose life seems settled in but she then has a mid-life crisis and suddenly wants a baby but can’t depend on a man. Lucy (Brie) is a desperate, single woman who is willing to do just about anything to find someone. There are definitely a lot of characters here and with that comes a lot of subplots for each of these characters. It was like we needed to know every definition of single. There were many subplots here but I thought that most of them were kind of unnecessary and took away from the main story which was between Alice and Robin. I personally didn’t care for a lot of them as they kind of steered the film more in the drama direction. I would have much rather watched a film about Alice and Robin just fooling around in New York City as I thought that was what I was going to get from the trailers but that didn’t happen. Johnson was okay here as a relatable, albeit naive who-is-me type, coming out of her shell in a rather predictable fashion. Wilson’s character Robin didn’t really have a story, often being a wise-cracking sidekick to Alice. Her purpose was just to be obnoxious and outrageous but it didn’t always work  for me as she often came off as annoying. Mann’s Meg was good here, albeit as a cliche. There were definitely a lot of cliches here and the story was rather predictable. Overall, this a decent romantic dramedy but could have been much better with a little more focus.

Score: 6.5/10

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One comment

  • Dan O.

    February 18, 2016 at 11:46 AM

    It’s message is a bit screwy, but for the most part, it’s entertaining. Nice review.

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