By Jack Dignan
How To Be Single? More like.... How To Make An Awful Movie. Ha. Ha ha. I'm so funny. Ha ha ha. Look at me and my fantastic puns. Ha ha. I'm so great and hilarious and original. Ha ha. It's so truthful because this is a bad movie. Ha. Well, now that I'm thinking about it it's more so a below average movie..... ha....? Damn. So much for my hysterical pun. Turns out the movie should be titled How To Make A Below Average Movie instead. Now THAT is one funny pun, right? RIGHT?!?! Oh. Okay.
Well, all terrible jokes aside (mainly done because I didn't have any ideas for an opening paragraph.... yeah, I'll admit that. I don't feel judged at all), How To Be Single follows the story of a young woman named Alice (Dakota Johnson), who's taking time apart from her long time boyfriend (Nicholas Braun) to live life as a single woman, something she hasn't really experienced before. When starting at a new job, Alice meets Robin (Rebel Wilson), a drunk, fun loving woman who's main goal is to party all night and never, ever, under any circumstances go home. Then there's Alice's sister, Meg (Leslie Mann), who's single, but desperate for a baby. Also in the mix is Lucy (Alison Brie), who.... who.... who shares a mutual friend with them, I guess. That's about all she's relevant to.
How To Be Single attempts to convert the rom-com formula with bumpy results, mostly blamed on the film's mediocre screenplay. It's a bland and uninteresting story that attempts to link these three characters to one another unsuccessfully. The conventions are there, it's just difficult to see at first, and as for the plot..... it's a mess. There's never any point of focus, the characters just doing whatever the hell they want because hey, who really cares when there's jokes to be said and relationships to be found? And on that note, the characters in this movie spend a majority of the runtime in relationships, rather than actually being single. So, yeah. Misleading title.
That being said, there was one story that actually tugged on my heartstrings a little bit. At one point during the movie, Alice tries her luck dating a single father, David (Damon Wayans Jr.). His character started out charming and likeable, but soon lost me. He became, like all the characters in this film, a big cliché, and yet he still kept coming back. However, it didn't take too long for him to win me back over, and during the final scene he has on screen, I was emotional. I will be honest. It's a simple scene, but it's the only one that's stuck with me in the few days it's been since I saw this movie.
While the screenplay doesn't work and 95% of the jokes fall flat, the actors do give it their all, making the film somewhat likeable, although certainly not interesting. They all have charm and charisma, suiting the roles, but they're not given good material to work with. Rebel Wilson is as likeable as ever, laying out improv wherever she goes. She's the best part about this movie, being the only character to legitimately make me laugh, but even then, none of the jokes are remotely memorable. That's this whole film, though. It's nothing memorable. You won't want to die when watching it, it's not that good, and you probably will forget it even exists after about a week. Maybe even less.
To sum up, How To Be Single is an uninteresting and unfunny rom com that attempts to convert the clichés, but ends up resorting back to them constantly. The cast are likeable and they save this film from being excruciating, but as a whole, it just didn't work.