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How to Be Single (2016)

Updated on March 6, 2016

How to Be Single

Director: Christian Ditter

Writers: Abby Kohn, Marc Silverstein, Dana Fox, Liz Tuccillo

Cast: Dakota Johnson, Rebel Wilson, Leslie Mann, Damon Wayans Jr., Anders Holm, Nicholas Braun, Jake Lacy, Jason Mantzoukas, Colin Jost, Mickey Gooch Jr., Sarah Ramos, Vanessa Rubio, Zani Jones Mbayise, Brent Morin, Kay Cannon

Synopsis: There's a right way to be single, a wrong way to be single, and then...there's Alice. And Robin. Lucy. Meg. Tom. David. 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.

MPAA Rating: Rated R for sexual content and strong language throughout

Stevennix2001's Rating:

7 / 10

Pros:

- Jokes were funny

- Surprisingly deeper story than expected.

- Acting was good. Nothing spectacular, but it could be worse.

- Direction was good

- Editing was handled well.

- Although some of the subplots were predictable, the overall story itself still offered a few clever surprises to keep it entertaining.

Cons:

- Some of the subplots were predictable.

- Although the message this film tries to convey was rather deep, the sad reality is that it was done a lot better in other movies like "500 Days of Summer" and "Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind."

- The romance between Jake Lacy and Leslie Mann's characters seemed forced.

- Some of the dialogue felt seemed too corny to be realistic in the various scenes.

That's right woman!  You better learn to swallow!!!  Man that sounded way dirtier than I thought it would......
That's right woman! You better learn to swallow!!! Man that sounded way dirtier than I thought it would......

Better than you might think, but still not a great movie

"How to be Single" may look like a mediocre "chick flick" r-rated comedy based on it's trailers, but it surprisingly carries a bit of substance. The story follows two sisters (played by both Leslie Mann and Dakota Johnson), who get caught up in the single life in the big city. One of them is a workaholic, who barely has time for a relationship. The other broke up with her boyfriend because she felt she needed to find herself. Eventually, she meets up with a party girl played by Rebel Wilson.

The two form an unlikely duo that decides to paint the town red. Screwing guys, while having a fun time drinking and partying. What's the harm right? While we do see Dakota Johnson hook up with another guy or two, after her break up with her first love, the film never really focuses too much on those relationships. No, this is about what happens in between relationships, as Dakota's character feels that people often discover who they really are when they're single. When people aren't attached to others, she feels that people have time to find out what truly makes them happy, and discover what they want out of life. But at the same time if you wait too long trying to find yourself, you can often miss your opportunities to find happiness with someone else.

Sure, she makes a lot of mistakes along the way. Who doesn't? And even though some of the subplots in this film are a bit predictable, it does leave open a few clever surprises to keep it interesting. Frankly, I can't say it's a bad movie, but I will say that some of the themes it covers were done better in movies like " 500 Days of Summer." For instance The film talks about how sometimes relationships can fall apart through various circumstances, and how we often have to find ourselves before we can be happy in a relationship. It's a touching message to be sure, but it was sadly done better in "500 Days of Summer" and "Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind", which sadly makes "How to be Single" pale by comparison.

As for the acting performances, I thought everyone played their parts rather well. While I found the romance between Leslie Mann and Jake Lacy to be bit forced, I will say that I liked how most of the couples were portrayed. Nobody was ever a saint, while nobody was ever a villain. Just like how real life can be sometimes. We try to do the right thing, but sometimes we end up doing the wrong thing, or we wait too long to do the right thing, and then it's too late.

Like "Neighbors" from two years ago, "How to be Single" may look like another d**k joke comedy film, when judging it on the trailers alone. However, if you watch the film in it's entirety, then you'll be pleasantly surprised at how much substance it truly has, as it offer it's own social commentary on relationships in the modern era.

The jokes are cleverly written, and it does offer a few surprises along the way. Granted, it can be a bit predictable at times, and some of the dialogue is a bit terrible. Like when Jake Lacy's character finds out his girlfriend is pregnant, his lines sounded a bit rehearsed. Not saying Jake was bad saying them, but the dialogue felt a bit unrealistic. But then again, he wasn't the main focus of the movie, so it's not like they could've devoted too much screen time to him.

While I can't say it's the best "chick flick" comedy that I've ever seen, but it's certainly one of the more interesting ones out there. Whether you're a lonely girl looking for a few laughs, or you just happen to be into "chick flicks" like I am, then "How to be Single" might be worth checking out.

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