How To Be Single
Running Time: 110 Minutes
Director: Christian Ditter
Starring: Dakota Johnson, Leslie Mann, Rebel Wilson, Allison Brie, Anders Holm, Jake Lacy, Damon Wayans Jr., Nicholas Braun, Jason Mantzoukas
Plot: A handful of RomCom clichés played by contemporary comedic actors go through break-ups, blossoming new relationships, and casual sexual encounters with each other. Naturally, all of their lives interweave, because in a city of 8 million people, you’re really only going to run into nine or ten of them.
Review: I went somewhat blindly into this movie. I say somewhat because, while all I knew for sure was that it had Rebel Wilson in it and was probably a comedy, I quickly discovered that this movie was little more than a remake of He’s Just Not That Into You. The principle difference being that they removed any trace of charm or wit present in its predecessor. How to Be Single relies on crass jokes to carry the movie with mixed results. I am not even remotely offended by inappropriate humor, but I maintain that there are good dick jokes and bad dick jokes, which is a distinction that too few people make.
Throughout the movie the tone oscillates from infantile sex jokes to attempted emotional beats abruptly and for seemingly no reason save that the writers were following a how-to guide for romantic comedies. I think they were trying to recreate the feel of an Apatow flick (which would explain the inclusion of his wife). I am a fan of most every actor in the flick, but nobody is playing a character they haven’t played before. Mantzoukas was a mildly more subdued version of his character on The League, so I guess that was kind of new. It was like if Rafi was rehabilitated for his sexual delinquency and given an argyle sweater. His shtick is actually the only one that didn’t wear thin for me. Another problem I had was that I found it really hard to root for anybody in the movie with the exception of Jake Lacy’s character, but he was written to be a level of nice that is nonexistent. He literally finds out the woman he’s dating is pregnant with a test tube baby and has been hiding it from him for months, and in ninety seconds he is through processing it and ready to go make her crepes and sign up for Lamaze class.
Overall, this movie has a likeable cast (not characters, mind you), intermittent laughs, and not much else to speak of. If you like anybody in this movie I suggest revisiting one of his or her old movies. If you are looking for something in this wheelhouse that actually works I would suggest seeing That Awkward Moment instead. If you’re on a plane and you might not have time for a whole movie before landing, then this is okay I guess.