How To Be Single had the promise of two comedic heavyweights with Leslie Mann and Rebel Wilson with a Sex & The City – esque tale of single life in New York City, things looked really good for this Valentine’s Day film, but alas what resulted was a Dakota Johnson filled snooze fest that under-utilises its two top stars (Mann & Wilson) and progresses at a glacial pace. The overdone tale of a frustrated woman in a relationship moving away to find herself is not new subject matter, and this doesn’t inject enough to keep it fresh or interesting. It is a great concept that falls flat on its face and fails to ignite the laughs and memorable moments that it should.
The film follows the story of Alice (Dakota Johnson) who gets restless in her relationship with her college boyfriend and decides to take a break and move to New York to “find herself as a single person” Fortunately she lands a job as a para legal and befriends crazy receptionist Robin (Wilson) who introduces her to the life of drinking, partying and sleeping with men without getting attached. Along for the ride is Alice’s sister Meg (Mann) an obgyn who is having problems with her relationships as she is “too busy working crazy hours for this stuff!” and decides to try IVF and be a single mother..
The story seems pretty stock standard, and honestly it is, there is no big shock moments or plot twists that keep you interested, Alice is a pretty ordinary character whose storyline is not in the least bit interesting, just when you think you are going to give up on the movie Robin or Meg jump in with some quick barrel laughs to perk it back up again, unfortunately there are not enough of these moments which results in the movie being a bit of a wash. Wilson and Mann are grossly under-utilised but the good part is when they are used they are hilarious and effective and prove why they are the comedy powerhouses they are.
Supporting characters Ken (Jake Lacy) and David (Damon Wayans Jnr) shine in their roles and Lacy in particular flexes his comedic (and literal!) muscles here and prove they have a promising role in future comedies.
One thing about this film that does work is the soundtrack, packed with sugar high pop hits from Taylor Swift (Welcome To New York), Charlie XCX (Superlove) and Fifth Harmony (Worth It) it works well with the sets and atmosphere of New York City and brings a sense of joy in the rather drab plot holes.
How To Be Single is an ambitious idea and on some level it works, what was a struggle was some of the under-acting by Dakota Fanning and her less that interesting plot line about finding herself in the big city. Rebel Wilson and Leslie Mann steal every scene they are in and have some great moments together, however are not in this nearly enough to keep it interesting. Fans of 50 Shades and Sex & The City may find some love here, everyone else will be disappointed.