Based in New York City, How to be Single tells the story of a group of woman coming to terms with single life in 2016, each coming at the issue from a different stage of their life. Despite a promising concept and a decent cast, ‘How to be Single’ tries to do too much, overstuffed with characters, sub plots and awkward humor, it is a bit all over the place.
The film follows 3 women as they deal with single life but it is unclear who is the main character. Despite being all over the posters, Rebel Wilson’s character of Robin really has a very limited role in this film. Despite being a constant presence in the first 25-30 minutes she disappears for a big chunk of the film before re-appearing in the last 20 minutes. Wilson is great for what little she had to do, unfortunately her character does become jarring after a while. It feels like she plays the same character in everything these days.
You would assume Dakota Johnson’s Alice is the main character, and it is probably who the director intends for her character to be. However, her storyline in the film of coming to terms with being single whilst bouncing from one relationship to the next, seems the least thought out of many storylines flowing throughout this film.
Johnson is great as Alice, likable and relatable and showed great comic timing with what little comedy she had to work with. However, her character makes many questionable decisions that ultimately make’s her unlikeable towards the end. Her Storyline really dragged the film down in many ways and seemed quite pointless in the end.
Then you have Leslie Mann’s character of Meg, Alice’s sister, who we learn at the start of the film that her career driven life isn’t enough for her anymore and decides to have a child despite being single herself. Mann is easily the best thing in this film, stealing every scene she is in, her storyline seemed the most real of all the subplots stuffed into this film. And the films biggest flaw is not focusing more on her character and less on Alice.
The film also focused quite a bit on bartender, Tom, played by Ander Helm, which seemed the most unnecessary off all the storylines in the film. His Character was very clichéd, a ladies man who talks about hating relationships despite being in love with his best friend Lucy, played by Allison Brie. Whilst Helm was fine in the role, this plot meant nothing by the end of the film, coming to a bizarre unsatisfying conclusion. The storyline seemed pointless and such like, with Alice’s storyline going nowhere.
Despite Leslie Mann’s Character, and proving some laughs particularly in the first 30 minutes, the film veers off course into a forgettable drama about single life. The film is over filled with characters, subplots and awkward humor, full of cliché’s seen time and time again in better romantic comedies.
By Simon Hanson