How To Be Single (2016)

8:27 AM

Welcome to the Party
 How To Be Single is directed by Christian Ditter (Love, Rosie, The Crocodiles) and stars Dakota Johnson (50 Shades of Grey, Black Mass), Rebel Wilson (Pitch Perfect, Bridesmaids), Leslie Mann (The Other Woman, This is 40) and Alison Brie (Sleeping With Other People, The Five Year Engagement). "New York City is full of lonely hearts seeking the right match, and what Alice, Robin, Lucy, Meg, Tom and David all have in common is the need to learn how to be single in a world filled with ever-evolving definitions of love". The chick-flik market has become a lot less crowded in the past few years, is that because they've run out of ideas? Is How To Be Single just a cliche filled, cheesy chick-flick or will it fit in with other great recent female comedies like Spy and Trainwreck?


How To Be Single is a solid movie - it is far inferior to both Spy and Trainwreck but it definitely isn't a disaster either. I have to admit, I was a little underwhelmed by the film - when I first saw the trailer, I wasn't that excited. However, the more and more I saw of the film in trailers made me more and more excited and I ended up really looking forward to the film. I should have trusted by original instincts as this is a mediocre flick. However, there is no denying that this will please its target audience as it ticks off all of the boxes for a good chick-flick. 

How To Be Single starts off really well with some good music choices which keep the mood upbeat and lots of comedy. Most of the funny moments happen in the first half of the film - I did laugh quite a bit at this film, however, I wish I could have laughed even more (twice the amount to be exact) but as the film kind of falls apart in the second half, it became quite bland and boring. The film was trying to go for a Valentine's Day/Love Actually/New Year's Eve kind of format. However, this only works looking back as you don't realise this during the film - you are following Wilson and Johnson for most of the film who are connected to Mann and then there is Brie who has her own subplot - an unnecessary character in my opinion. Then you have all the male characters as well. However, films like Love Actually only work because they give an equal amount of time to their whole ensemble - How To Be Single fails at being an ensemble film because it feels too much like a female led duo film at the beginning. I can see what they were going for but it just wasn't executed very well. 

The story is generic but refreshing at the same time - we haven't really seen a chick-flick or rom-com about being single as of yet so this was nice to see. How To Be Single was an uplifting film. However, the characters do contradict the film's own message many times throughout the film and you can tell the story before you watch it - I knew the simple structure of this film before I watched it. 1. Single 2. Relationship 3. Break Up 4. Realise its good being single. How To Be Single is quite predictable and generic despite its unique spin on the genre - I think it is the writing that lets this film down as it doesn't have a clear vision or plot going for it. 

Even though the humour does lack in the second half of the film, it was funny overall. I laughed quite a few times - probably the most I've laughed in a film in 2016 other than Deadpool (that isn't really saying much though). Rebel Wilson is just a comedic genius and whenever she was on screen, laughs would always accompany it. Wilson's one-liners and just her mannerisms were hilarious and I would really like to see her actually lead a film. However, I also really liked when Johnson goes to the alumni event and Peacock by Katy Perry starts being sung - this was hilarious. The laughs in the second half of the film were much more spread out - they were still there - but I feel that they were the jokes the writers came up with last. 

All of the female characters in this film were quite likeable which is good for a film that promotes 'girl power'. Dakota Johnson led the film very well and I think I'll take back what I said about her in 50 Shades of Grey because after this and Black Mass, she is turning out to be quite a talented and diverse actress. As I have already said, Rebel Wilson was as good as ever. However, my next mission for her is to play a serious role so she can really stretch out of her comfort zone. Leslie Mann was also very good in this film and so was Alison Brie. All of the male actors also had solid performances - the movie was acted well across the board. However, despite being a film that is meant to be all about girl power - the script doesn't help as the characters don't really talk to each other about anything other than boys - they may want to be single but the whole time they are single and independent they are thinking about being with another person?

The ending of the film does feel pretty rushed - it kind of just ends and everything just wraps up. However, the message for the film is generally good, despite if the characters sometimes contradict it.

How To Be Single is a solid female comedy which unfortunately isn't enough to compete with the great female comedies we have seen in recent years. The concept should be refreshing but it isn't executed very well by a very sloppy and poorly written script. The laughs aren't evenly distributed - the film is very front loaded when it comes to laughs - less and less occur as the film goes on. All of the leads are likeable, especially Dakota Johnson and Rebel Wilson who are actually an unlikely but good comedic duo. If only the film hadn't tried too hard to be an ensemble, it could have focused more so the characters didn't contradict the films message. Overall though, How To Be Single is a fluffy female comedy that will definitely please its target audience but the script is something that lets it down majorly.  How To Be Single - more like How To Make an Average Female Comedy. 

3 STARS
B-
What did you think of HOW TO BE SINGLE? Do you think it is poorly written? - COMMENT BELOW

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