How To Be Single ***

Screw you, people who have someone. This funny comedy is everything a single person has been looking for!

Is it worth $10? Yes

If years of stale romantic comedies have tried to teach us anything, it’s this: Being single is a lonely, horrible thing, and finding the love of your life is the best thing ever. With the release of “How To Be Single” so close to Valentine’s Day, the natural fear is that it’ll pander to this errant notion that life is always better with a significant other.

Thankfully, it doesn’t. It’s not even a romantic comedy, actually. With true chutzpah director Christian Ditter has the guts to allow his characters to embrace single life and eschew the romanticism that comes with finding “happily ever after.” To wit, the characters are an assortment of single types who demonstrate the various ways one can be single and fulfilled.

Recent college grad Alice (Dakota Johnson) moves to New York City after “taking a break” from boyfriend Josh (Nicholas Braun) and starts work as a paralegal. She’s a sweet girl and serial monogamist who has no idea what it’s like to be on her own. Her sister Meg (Leslie Mann) knows what it’s like to be single all to well: She’s an OB/GYN who works constantly and never has time for a social life – not exactly an ideal role model for Alice to follow.

At work Alice meets Robin (Rebel Wilson), a free-spirited functioning alcoholic who goes out every night and eagerly sleeps around. One of the bars she goes to is run by Tom (Anders Holm), who’s made womanizing such a science that he’s even cut the water off in his apartment so his one night stands are forced to leave. Living above the bar is Lucy (Alison Brie), who’s on ten dating web sites looking for Mr. Right and insists she knows exactly what she wants, only to find herself unpleasantly surprised each time she gives a guy a chance.

No, it’s not as consistently funny as it could be, but Wilson and Mann deliver some prime one-liners and certain situations lend themselves well to awkward comedy. It’s never raunchy, and nor should it be, but some of the things Wilson says take a moment to register before you realize just how dirty they are. We like her.

Being pretty darn original in its story makes up for any shortcomings in the laugh department. What’s more, the characters encompass a variety of ways that men and women can find satisfaction without a life partner. Indeed, the script by Abby Kohn, Marc Silverstein and Dana Fox clearly suggests that being single isn’t a burden but an opportunity for self-improvement that allows the growth needed to be a solid partner when a relationship comes. So without making the most of being single it’s impossible to make the most of a relationship. If you think about it, this makes sense.

“How To Be Single” is as empowering as its name suggests, and as a result is an absolutely perfect choice for anyone who’s feeling bad about being alone this Valentine’s Day. Don’t feel bad. First of all, it’s a fake holiday. Secondly, you can view the characters in the movie as kindred spirits who understand your situation and have found a way to make the most of it. Surely, you can too.

Did you know?
Wilson will film “Pitch Perfect 3” later this year; it’s scheduled for release August 4, 2017.

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