Whilst many of you I am sure spent your Valentine’s Day evenings having a romantic dinner out or just cuddled up on the sofa with your special someone, I spent mine watching How to be Single, and I don’t regret it.

Potentially, this film could have quite easily fallen into the pile, with many other chick-flicks, that have failed miserably to reach the heights of Bridget Jones or The Holiday, however it actually surpasses these expectations. Although the film does predictably rely on many tropes of the rom-com cinematic genre, the ending and many scenes throughout the film adapt the clichés with an ironic spin creating some genuinely funny scenes. 

Rebel Wilson and Dakota Johnson compliment each other perfectly, with Rebel’s brash, wild self-confidence and humour, set in contrast against Dakota’s naturalistic and self-affirming performance, their dynamic is wonderful to watch. For the most part, How to be Single stays true to its claim to being a movie and story about self-discovering rather than just the typical ‘girl meets boy’ cliché, which is frankly refreshing given that so often in films a woman’s happiness is so relentlessly tied to her relationships with the men in her life.

How to be Single tracks the love lives of Alice (Dakota Johnson), Lucy (Alison Brie), Tom (Anders Holm) and Meg (Leslie Mann); and the film demonstrates crucially that love can get messy, and the happiest endings aren’t always the ones stereotypical rom-coms would have us, as audiences, predict. It is undeniable that there are still the elements of cheesiness that will create an aura of feminine solidarity and collective “aww” noises rushing around the theatre, but that is to be expected and not condemned, especially as the film rewards its viewers with a varied conclusion to the romantic adventures of its characters. Tom (Anders Holm), learns from his mistakes in becoming known as the bachelor; Alice learns to not fall into the “dick-sand” and be comfortable on her own, whilst her forcefully independent sister Meg chooses to be with Ken (Jake Lacy), not because she needs to be but because she wants to be. All of these characters in the film are hugely unique, apart from the disappointment that is Brie’s Lucy. Living above the bar Tom owns, she becomes his love interest, but outside of her interactions with him she is nothing more than the stereotyped, desperate, verging on crazy woman, who needs a man in order to feel fulfilled. Given that the general vibes of the film are so distant from this overused and disheartening notion, her storyline does detract from the overall positivity and hilarity of How to be Single.

The Verdict:
Refreshing and unexpected, I would highly recommend it – not just another trashy rom-com! 

Cathy Cooper

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Images sourced from How To Be Single, Warner Bros. 

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