• Wes Singleton

Review: How to Be Single, C-

Dakota Johnson and Rebel Wilson

Rated R, 109 minutes

The fun but scattershot new comedy "How to Be Single" explores the realm of the non-married world from the female perspective, but you won't remember much of it except for Rebel Wilson's wild party gal, who gives the bland, uneven film a much-needed energy shot. New York City is full of lonely hearts seeking the right match, and what Alice (Dakota Johnson), Robin (Wilson), Lucy (Alison Brie), Meg (Leslie Mann), Tom (Anders Holm), Ken (Jake Lacy) and David (Damon Wayans Jr.) all have in common is the need to learn how to be single in a world filled with ever-evolving definitions of love. Based on Liz Tuccillo book (who also wrote "He's Just That into You") and directed by Christian Ditter, the likable but very superficial "How to Be Single" is peppered with a few fun moments, but it's shallow tone make it little more than a light version of "Sex and the City." The cardboard characters and situations they're put in seem too obvious here until the tacked-on last act ,which is so unnecessarily sentimental it doesn't fit with the rest of the movie, with some pithy ideas about singleness ("it allows you be better at being alone" - well no duh). The rowdy Wilson, who obviously takes on the "SATC" Samantha version here, steals all the scenes, is full of quips and one-liners seen in the trailers (except for maybe her version of the term quicksand), though in fact she's the most one-note character in the movie, and the surprise reveal her character has at the end might make you feel a little taken. Johnson is pretty but bland, and I had a hard time believing her motivations, while Brie's character, admittedly fun, seems to be in another movie altogether and little interaction with the other three characters. The most memorable here to me isn't necessarily Wilson, but the always marvelous Leslie Mann, who actually takes a stab at creating a character and whose awkward blathering is the most humorous, I just wish her character was written for a braver ending. The handsome guys here, Lacy, Holm and especially Wayans, don't come across much better, and I wish they were more than afterthoughts. The likable yet forgettable "How to Be Single" is good for a forced chuckle or two - it's one of those great one-night stands but nothing memorable for the long-term.