I watched How to be Single. I needed something to watch to kill time. So I did the manly thing and watched a RomCom that doesn’t look like a RomCom. Let’s talk about it…
After four years of college, young Alice (Dakota Johnson) decides she needs a break from her long-term boyfriend Josh. Excited and ready for new challenges, the eager grad moves to New York to take a job as a paralegal. Helping her navigate her way through an unfamiliar city is Robin (Rebel Wilson), a fun-loving, wild co-worker who enjoys partying and one-night stands. With Robin as her freewheeling guide, Alice can now learn how to get free drinks, meet men and enjoy the single lifestyle.
I don’t remember the last movie that Mrs. Judd Apatow, Leslie Mann, was in that I didn’t like (I never watched Drillbit Taylor so sue me). Alison Brie is talented as she is pretty (I have to watch Community & Mad Men, so you can add that to lawsuit). Rebel Wilson is officially the funny big actress, leaving Melissa McCarthy in the dust (I have watched both Pitch Perfects multiple times, so there’s that). And Dakota Johnson is shaping up to be a top leading lady in Hollywood (I watched 50 Shades of Grey, so take mercy on me). And now all you have four women sharing a spotlight on-screen.
Just to map everything out a little better, Fugazy from 21 Jump Street (totally overlooked her in that) is your main character, a chick who takes a break from her boyfriend to find herself in New York, like every other girl you meet in a Midtown bar. She stays with her older sister, Meg (Mann), until she finds a place of her own. Her first initial friends she meets are paralegal Robin (Fat Amy), bartender Tom (Anders from Workaholics), and that girl Lucy (Brie). The brief descriptions I just gave are the crucial pieces of info used for the narrative of the characters. Meg is a OB/GYN who has dreams of having a child of her own, but is single. Robin is a paralegal by day and she’s the dance machine at the bar looking to hook up with everyone she thinks is cute. Tom is the guy who pretty much knows every trick of the trade on how to sleep with every woman. And Lucy is a girl who has computer algorithms to determine who she dates on dating websites as she is on a hunt to find the One worse than any slavemaster looking for his best field worker. (How do you reserve a wedding dress in advance for a wedding that you have not even a friend with benefits for?).
The rest of the movie plays out like an extension of college with a string of “It’s Complicated” deals: Lucy can’t keep a guy more than a month; buying a photo album gift for a guy you’ve dated for 3 weeks is next level aggressive. Robin loathes seeing a guy the next morning and avoids it all costs. Tom has found the holy grail of douchebaggery in order to prevent a woman from staying a night (I’m not even mad, that’s amazing). Alice wants a relationship but her boyfriend is now an ex. And Meg says screw it and goes the IVF route to get preggers… right as she ends up meeting someone, younger than her no less.
This just sounds like a bunch of random things that are more Com than Rom. But wait. Time to go full romantic. Tom ends up falling for Lucy after seeing her go out on bunch of dates knowing he can treat her better. Probably after he saw this. Lucy in the meantime is dating George, played by Jason Mantzoukas, or as I affectionally call him: Rafi. Yes, Rafi from the League is hooking up with the chick from Community. What a Time…. Meg is conflicted about bringing a guy into her life as she gets ready to eventually bear a child, and no it’s not tied into hormones. Alice starts dating but realizes she still has feelings for her ex as well as a guy she recently started dating who has commitment issues (Damon Wayans, Jr,?! In a serious role?!). And Robin is still… ya know… trying to hook up everyone. Consistency is respected.
I like to write about the conclusion in vague spoilers, just in case you don’t want too much ruined for you. Mostly because there’s no wild curveballs or dramatic turns. There’s no sudden changes in tone of the movie or gut punches, like when you find out Stephanie Tanner can’t bear children (seriously, wtf, Fuller House?!). I’ll simply say all of the characters found peace. Except Robin who never changed once in the movie, which I’m totally ok with. Dakota redeemed herself as this is the movie you can watch with your guy friend(s) ladies instead of the 125 minutes of my life that watching terrible domination I want back. There were plenty of tips that guys can use as well to keep the chicks away. You all can watch for yourself.
2 of my favorite RomComs are Jerry Maguire and 10 Things I Hate About You, so there’s a certain level of humor I need for my vesting interest to be taken up. So keeping it simple and putting a bow on it. This movie is 49% rotten on Rotten Tomatoes. On a scale of the Sixers to the Warriors, How to Be Single does better on my scale with a 6 out of 10. You’ll watch it once and you’ll like it.