How to Be Single — Review
Here’s one of those big studio “New York is Great” (because this city’s either gonna be awesome or scary in every movie) let’s dumb down Woody Allen movies for women February releases we all love so much. To clarify, the studios (Warner Brothers, New Line Cinema and MGM in this case) are calling women dumb, not me, in the above analogy. Maybe I’m being too harsh; after all, this film does pass the Bechdel test. Though when these women aren’t talking about men they’re talking about babies, so not exactly passing with flying colors…
Dakota “because if people already hate you for ‘Fifty Shades of Grey,’ who is possibly going to remember you did this shit a few weeks later?” Johnson plays a recent college grad who moves to New York to be a paralegal after telling the college boyfriend she thinks they should spend some time apart and explore being single in their early twenties. Rebel Wilson plays the party animal bestie Johnson meets at the law firm. This role basically fits the type of Zach Galifianakis in ‘The Hangover’ or Melissa McCarthy in ‘Bridesmaids,’ that is to say not someone who makes sense exactly in the real world, but we forgive that because they make us laugh. Or at least Galifianakis and McCarthy did, but the talented Wilson produces but a few chuckles here, and that’s about as good as this movie gets.
Leslie Mann plays Johnson’s sister, a workaholic midwife who wants to date hot younger guys but also have babies of her own. Being a successful white woman with a kick-ass New York pad is really difficult shit apparently. And then there’s Alison Brie, certainly a talented actress, stuck playing a ridiculously offensive and kind of creepy character who’s hunting for the perfect guy to marry and have kids with. Like right away.
The one kind of pleasant surprise this movie offers is that it’s not, as I had expected “How To Be Single… Until the Finale Where You Gotta Chase the Dude Down in the Rain Outside the Airport and Lock that Shit Down.” At least for the main character here, her journey is actually about the importance of getting to know yourself through being single, as will be explained to you in some real simplified voiceover at the end. (Crap, I just spoiled the whole thing, didn’t I?)
What else? It sucks. That’s what else. And Roger Ebert’s former ‘At the Movies’ buddy Richard Roeper said it was “lovely stuff all around.” Fun fact: that guy also loved every M. Night Shyamalan movie up until ‘The Last Airbender.’