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Movie Review: How To Be Single

Large ensemble group romance roulette wheel.

Review by Beevers

There are times that you feel that you have found ‘The One’, and it become clear you will both settle down and be forever together. Other times, it is nothing more than a simple one-night-stand. That is the perfect description of “How to be Single”. It is more than fine for the evening, but you know you will be moving on in the morning.

Alice (Dakota Johnson) has been with her boyfriend Josh (Nicholas Braun) all through college. But now Alice feels that she has neglected her own wants and dreams and she wants out for awhile. Josh objects, but Alice goes to New York to stay with her sister Meg (Leslie Mann).

Meg has been a doctor for many years and never thought of having a family herself. Delivering all the other babies makes her want one. She gets clinically ‘knocked up’ so she can give birth. But after she starts to show, she meets a younger man Ken (Jake Lacy). Ken falls for Meg, even with the extra sidekick inside.

Alice meets a friend at work named Robin (Rebel Wilson). Robin is crazy and exciting, but also pretty loopy. Alice moves into a little flat over a bar near the river. Tom (Anders Holm) is the owner, and he pursues Alice. But he is a womanizer and teaches Alice his secret ‘woman attraction and rejection’ tricks.

Tom also is interested in Lucy (Alison Brie) who is analytical about dating and relationships. Tom is torn between Lucy and Alice. Meanwhile, Alice meets David (Damon Wayans, Jr.), a wealthy widower with a young daughter. Josh pops up again to say that he is engaged to a new girl. Lucy is on the rebound from Tom and meets up with a new guy named George (Jason Mantzoukas).

So this movie becomes a large ensemble group romance roulette wheel. It is basically that everyone and everything are all connected. It is long the lines of “Love Actually” or a movie like that. The laughs are there, especially when Rebel Wilson is in the scene. Also, Leslie Mann does a wonderful job with the role of an older sister who is professional and down-to-earth, but she still wants in on the romance and family thing.

Dakota Johnson is pretty good but her role seems to be a little weak. She eventually gets to be independent and does her bucket list things. But this is tacked on to the very end and does not seem to be earned.

Almost all of the male characters are also thin and not fleshed out much. Anders Holm as Tom has some really funny bits, as does Jason Mantzoukas. The other guys are lower-wattage bulbs in the lighting board.

But when the movie is over, you can have a heart-to-heart talk with it and say “Sorry, it’s not you, it’s me”

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