HOW TO BE SINGLE
Review by Gordon Justesen
Johnson, Rebel Wilson, Alison Brie, Damon Wayans Jr., Anders Holm, Nicholas
Braun, Jake Lacy, Jason Mantzoukas, Leslie Mann
Director: Christian Ditter
Audio: DTS HD 5.1
Video: Anamorphic Widescreen 2.40:1
Studio: Warner Bros.
Features: See Review
Length: 110 Minutes
Release Date: May 24, 2016
ďItís like Gandalf is staring right at me. NO PENIS SHALL PASS!Ē
Another year, another lousy romantic comedy.
Despite an attractive cast, which is what intrigued me about it in the first place, How to Be Single is yet another romantic comedy thatís indistinguishable from the rest of whatís been offered from this sub-genre as of late. Even worse, it thinks itís a hip and clever offering, thus making it even more frustrating to sit through. Iíve never been the biggest Sex and the City fan, but Iíd gladly view any incarnation of that show before even thinking of watching this again...and consider me crazy if Iím ever to consider that.
The setting is New York City, and our main female focus is Alice (Dakota Johnson) who, as the movie begins, comes to the decision that she and her boyfriend (who she claims to indeed love) need time apart. The reason, she says, is to find out what kind of person she is outside of a relationship. In reality, though, itís merely an excuse for the rest of the movie to play out.
So as she begins her new job as a paralegal, Alice quickly becomes friends with co-worker Robin (Rebel Wilson), an extreme potty mouth type who quickly exposes her to the single scene. This, as you may have already guessed, leads to countless scenes of the two going out nightly, getting wasted, and sleeping various men. In other words, nothing really all that ground-breaking.
Alice also moves in with her older sister, Meg (Leslie Mann), a workaholic with man troubles of her own. Thereís also a fourth female named Lucy (Alison Brie), who happens to frequent at one of the bars the other characters hang out at. She doesnít appear to mingle much with Alice or Robin, more than likely causing viewers to scratch their heads and wonder why sheís part of this story to begin with (donít get me wrong, I love just looking at Alison Brie).
As to what the movie is trying to say, well Iím kind of lost to be honest. It seems as if it wants to evoke a message of empowerment to women by saying being in an relationship isnít necessary in order to be happy. Thatís all fine and well, if only the movie didnít wallow in traditional romantic comedy clichťs in the process.
I canít fault any of the actresses here. I do find Dakota Johnson most appealing and attractive, and Iím sure sheíll find a headlining role that suits her eventually. As for Rebel Wilson, she garners some chuckles here and there, even though sheís playing an R rated variation on her role from Pitch Perfect. They do what they can in How to Be Single, a dead on illustration of the kind of rom com that needs to be done away with once and for all.
The Blu-ray from Warner is indeed well handled on the video end. Colors are eye catching, and the New York City setting is captured terrifically. Image detail is spot on, as are the black levels during many of the nighttime party scenes.
The DTS HD mix gets a lot to work with in the realm of music playback. Every nighttime party scene is backed up with numerous music tracks, which do add quite a bit of boom to the proceedings. Period physical pratfalls (mostly involving Rebel Wilson) also provide sound highlights. Dialogue delivery is handled extremely well, in addition.
Extras here include three featurettes: ďThe Pros and Cons of How to Be SingleĒ, ďRebel Rabble: A Look at Rebel WilsonĒ and ďThe Best Idea WinsĒ, the third of which focuses on improvisational work. Also featured are Deleted Scenes, a Gag Reel, and several Rebel Wilson outtakes.
Iím always looking for a pure break from the norm when it comes to romantic comedies, which is what I didnít get with How to Be Single. It adds up to a poor manís Sex and the City, which is pretty much the last thing any romantic comedy wants to be known as.