If you’ve ever seen a Rebel Wilson film, then there is a high chance you will experience a serious case of déjà vu whilst watching How to Be Single. Wilson stars alongside Dakota Johnson, Alison Brie, Anders Holm and Leslie Mann in the on screen adaption of the Liz Tuccillo novel of the same name. The film is the latest work by Director Christian Ditter, whose filmography includes the tear jerking romantic comedy Love, Rosie.
How to Be Single is a romantic comedy film based in New York city (and also the first film that I’ve seen which utilizes Taylor Swifts popular song “Welcome To New York”, which was incredibly delightful to hear). The film watches as Alice (Dakota Johnson) breaks up with her boyfriend Josh (Nicholas Braun) feeling as if she needs to experience the single life for a while. She moves to New York to get a job as a paralegal and moves in with her sister Meg (Leslie Mann), an obstetrician who refuses all forms of relationships, until she decides that being around babies all the time is actually making her to want to have a baby. At her new job, Alice meets Robin (Rebel Wilson), an outgoing receptionist who takes it upon herself to introduce Alice into the world of the single life (which mainly includes getting drunk and one night stands). The film also includes Lucy (Alison Brie) a woman who is trying her luck with online dating, move into an apartment above a bar run by Tom (Anders Holm) who schools her on the details of the dating world.
The trailer for this movie hypes it up to be an incredibly fun movie that is a barrage of laughs, unfortunately the movie itself does not follow the same script. The movie falls flat, and is not as lively as one would believe when watching the trailer. I often found myself recognising a joke that was in the trailer, and then waiting for a new original joke I had not heard of yet to grace the screen.
Rebel Wilson is an incredible comedian, but her talent falls flat in How to Be Single. Wilson is best suited to roles where she is able to deliver her comedic one liners periodically, however in How to Be Single, her character at times comes across as incredibly shallow, as someone who has no desire to help her friend find herself, and rather only cares about getting drunk and hooking up with guys. Not that there is anything wrong with that lifestyle, but when Wilson is delivering the same jokes within a two-hour period, the jokes get old incredibly fast, and instead makes Wilson’s character come across incredibly unsupportive, and someone who can not accept that people want to live different lifestyles to hers.
Dakota Johnson is the shining light in How to Be Single. She brings depth to the character of Alice that I was not expecting to see, and truly depicts the inner demons of a 20 something year old girl who is just trying to decide what she wants in life. It’s the second year in a row in which Dakota Johnson has had a film released over the valentine’s weekend (last years being a movie about bondage that you’ve probably never even heard about). However, like THAT bondage movie, not even Johnson’s acting can save this movie from being confusing and incredibly dull and lifeless at times. This film left me wondering why there wasn’t a question mark at the end of the movies title, because How to Be Single, leaves a lot of doors open on how to actually be single.