Film Review: How to Be Single

How to Be Single

Valentine’s Day has ended for another year, and now it is time for singletons to rejoice.

There is no need to feel miserable or lonely anymore; being independent is certainly not a negative thing, and How to Be Single is a film that captivates that exact message.  If you enjoy romantic comedies then this is a fantastic film for you.

Alice (Dakota Johnson) is the pivotal character of this story. She breaks up with her long-term boyfriend to make the most of her new life as a paralegal in New York City.

Whilst at work, she meets Robin (Rebel Wilson), who is eager to help Alice take advantage of single life. Alice’s sister Meg (Leslie Mann) is also part of the mix, although does not exactly partake in the party lifestyle.

Instead she fulfils a more serious role of someone who wonders the necessity of starting her own family. Lucy (Alison Brie) is somewhat detached from the other three, but is relevant through her journey of finding the perfect guy to settle down with.

These four ladies are essentially why the film turned out to be so enjoyable. The notable stand-out is Rebel Wilson, who may be criticised for portraying a similar version of herself in most of her roles. However, her outrageous and fun-loving character had a sharp wit from beginning to end, and she was able to provide at least one laugh out loud moment to every scene she was part of.

Dakota Johnson was perhaps the most relatable of all characters, as Alice was the one who learned most about herself throughout the film. At the end she even delivered a motivational monologue of (ironically enough) ‘how to be single’.

Leslie Mann gave a funny yet emotional performance of a woman who decides to have a baby without a partner by her side, and her relationship with Johnson’s character is heart-warming and depicts the true nature of a sisterly bond.

Alison Brie’s character can be viewed as a separate entity to the other three. She does not actually have any dialogue with the other three actresses, but her story is highlighted enough for her to have a purpose.

She has many scenes with Tom (Anders Holm), who is the owner of the bar she lives near, which is also a frequent setting throughout the movie. Regardless of their interest in other men and women, their chemistry is apparent to the point where it is obvious that the two will end up together. However, the situation between the two of them meets a rather different and confusing end.

New York City acts a vibrant and beautiful setting to a film which focuses on the importance of happy relationships with other people and oneself.

The camerawork captures the busy environment, particularly in regard to the nightlife where a lot of interesting events occur. But the main characters are never overshadowed by the chaotic atmosphere.

There is also a modern punch through the text messaging graphics, which makes the film feel interactive and relative to the popularity of social media in today’s society.

Based on the book by Liz Tuccillo, the film’s screenplay, by Dana Fox, Abby Kohn and Marc Silverstein, demonstrates the integrity of leading a single life – a different approach to your typical rom-com.

There are fun and frolics along the way, but the key idea is never lost throughout the film. How to Be Single is not a spectacular phenomenon, but it does stand out in its specific genre. A sequel would not be met with surprise.

Film: How to Be Single

Starring: Dakota Johnson, Rebel Wilson, Alison Brie, Leslie Mann, Anders Holm, Jake Lacy, Nicholas Braun, Damon Wayans, Jr., Colin Jost

Director: Christian Ditter

Screenplay: Dana Fox, Abby Kohn, Marc Silverstein, based on Liz Tuccillo’s book

Distributed by: Warner Bros. Pictures

Release Date: February 12, 2016