Dakota Johnson, Leslie Mann, Rebel Wilson and Alison Brie are single women living it up in New York in Christian Ditter’s How to Be Single. Following the lives of these four ladies through three separate story strands, it’s a lively, dance-filled, alcohol-chugging romp focusing on the usual rom-com ideals of love, loss and lust in the crazy Big Apple.
A cast list of stereotypes – Mann playing the paranoid older woman, Meg; Wilson as the unfiltered rebel (no pun intended), Robin; and Johnson as Anastasia 2.0 (a.k.a Alice) – offers little in way of freshness, as the film battles to be relevant in what we see as an increasingly relationship-centric society with dating apps and hook-ups taking centre stage. Yet the Love, Rosie helmer’s effort lacks the edge of a really effective 21st century woman-centric rom-com (here’s looking at you, Trainwreck!), and, even, its heart.
The This is 40 star (Mann) as ever, becomes increasingly irritable as time wears on, as Wilson’s loud-mouthed antics never really get past go. Johnson, who proved she could shine amongst mediocrity in last year’s Fifty Shades of Grey, proved the film’s most consistent comedic talent – and managed to be less annoying than her needy character ever had any right of being.
Occasionally funny, but often frustrating, and far from the effective social commentary it wanted to be, How to Be Single is another just about watchable, yet certainly forgettable, romantically laced outing.