Friday, February 12, 2016
HOW TO BE SINGLE
Thankfully, How to Be Single is not so stereotypical, although at first glance, it does seem like a strange amalgamation of dance clubs and drinking, as we follow our central protagonist, Alice (Dakota Johnson), through the various pitfalls of living in New York City as a single woman after college. Alice quickly becomes friends with her new co-worker, Robin (Rebel Wilson), who makes it her personal mission to ensure that Alice ignores the more staid advice of elder sister Meg (Leslie Mann) and fully embraces her life as a single woman. The film quickly sweeps Alice off her feet as Robin shows her the best ways to party in New York -- as well as the best ways to survive the next morning's hangover. But it's their friendship, seen through a humorous lens, which carries the weight of this movie.
While Alice does date a handful of people throughout the movie, and handles run-ins with her college ex, Josh (Nicholas Braun), most of the narrative rests on her relationships with the women and her local bartender, Tom, played by Anders Holm. Alice starts this movie wishing to be alone, to figure out who she is as an individual. While that is an admirable goal, it is perhaps more admirable and encouraging to see the weight that other relationships carry in her life. Alice is single for much of the film, but she's not alone. If anything, "How To Be Single" doesn't just show us the downsides of singlehood, but the importance of maintaining other relationships even as romantic ones grow or fade. But this isn't just Alice's story...
We also have Meg, a single OB-GYN who focuses very heavily on her career. Shortly after she decides that, single or not, she wants to be a mother and proceeds to find a sperm donor, she finds herself in the tangles of an unexpected relationship with the surprisingly compelling, genuine and young Ken (Jake Lacy). As Alice navigates discovering herself through her singledom, Meg navigates the balance of wanting a baby, a successful career, and maybe a boyfriend, too. Her storyline is carried delicately, and at no second does it feel heavy handed that she decides to be a mom. Her choices are her own, and she makes them independent of others' expectations and opinions.
Opposite of Meg, who has always sought career over romance, we have Lucy (Alison Brie), who has developed an intense method of trolling through online dating sites in order to find her perfect guy. (her peanut) Through regular interactions with Tom, we see her side of singlehood -- seeking to find romance against the odds.
Over all, the cast shines through in this off-beat chick flick that will probably be a staple of many movie nights to come. From birthdays to dance clubs, from girls’ nights to unexpected dates, #HowToBeSingle shows us that the importance of relationships--romantic and platonic--as it lives up to its tagline: Welcome To The Party!
T &T's (Connors) LAMB Score: 3.5 outta 5
She is also the co-founder and co-editor at Femini feminiproject.wordpress.com, a new blog project tackling reviews of everything from favorite Philly ice cream shops to comic books and television shows. She has a tendency to speak in hyperbole and make really bad puns.
T&T's Bottom Line: I was looking forward to bringing Connor back on to contribute in the new year and thought because she's of a similar age to the characters in this movie, it would be a good one for her to review. But truthfully, I also didn't want to see "How To Be Single", the trailers made it look like such a throw away wasted effort, despite the fact that I have taken a shine to Dakota Johnson. [Although, Hair Note: I didn't like her length in this movie, and it doesn't change during the year in which the movie takes place, which isn't typical of most women, even those that may keep the same basic style, length tends to varies during a year] but, I was offered another screening of "How to Be Single"
which just happened to coincide with a friend's birthday, so I decided it would work for a dinner and a movie birthday celebration. Much to our surprise we really enjoyed it!!! The trailer throws the humor off. Those scenes seen in context, are funny. What's worse, the trailer eliminates the true warmth of the movie. Take it from someone who knows more about being single than anyone ever should - You don't have to be a Millennial in the age of swiping left to appreciate these characters. If you are a fan of "Love Actually" or "He's Just Not That Into You", you'll really like "How to Be Single" - Le Anne Lindsay, Editor
Tinsel & Tine (Reel & Dine): Philly Film, Food & Events Blog