by Sandra Kraisirideja
How To Be Single is a funny, insightful examination of what it means to be single from both male and female perspectives.
Written by Abby Kohn, Marc Sliverstein and Dana Fox, and based on the book by Liz Tuccillo, this rom-com for millennials follows the newly single Alice (Dakota Johnson) who has just broken up with her college boyfriend, sweetly played by Nichoas Braun.
Alice gets a job as a paralegal for a New York City law firm and meets Robin played by Rebel Wilson. The role seems to be written with Wilson in mind and her improv skills are put to good use.
As with other rom-coms set in New York City the urban oasis does become a character in the movie, especially Brooklyn, where Alice gets her first apartment. It’s sure to cause yet more 20-somethings to dream of moving to the city
Alice’s reason for ending her relationship is admirable – she wants to know what it feels like to be on her own and to define herself outside of a relationship. The problem is she can’t help but fall into old patterns whenever she meets an interesting prospect.
Her suitors are played by Anders Holm and Damon Wayans, Jr. and each is given enough of a backstory to demand a layered performance.
Of the men in the movie, the stand out is Jake Lacey who plays the adorable, young suitor of Alice’s older sister, Meg, played by Leslie Mann.
Meg is a dedicated obstetrician who is unmarried and focused on her career. It would have been interesting to see Meg tackle the challenges of being a single, older, professional woman, but instead the writers took a safer route.
Meg decides to get pregnant through IVF and Ken (Lacey) wants to build a life with her and care for the baby. The funniest scene in the movie happens between when Ken spots Meg shopping at a baby store.
Alison Brie also has a minor role in the movie as a young woman searching for love online.
There are some unexpected moments of humor in the movie that separate the movie from standard romantic comedies. Surely this is the influence of Drew Barrymore’s production company Flower Films. Barrymore is a fan of the genre and it shows in the movie.
How To Be Single is the perfect rom-com for millennials who want to extend their adolescence for as long as possible.