From its synopsis alone, How to Be Single is an unfortunate rarity; it is a comedy entirely focused around a group of female protagonists. It follows the quartet of the recently single paralegal, Alice (Dakota Johnson), her new, wild colleague Robin (Rebel Wilson), her older sister Meg (Leslie Mann), and Alison Brie’s Lucy. This set up paves the way for a decent comedy with a nice sentiment that is neither full of cheesy clichés, nor entirely predictable.
The film provides some really funny moments and is guaranteed to leave you with a smile on your face. The film stays true to its title in focusing on being ‘single’ but broadens from what you might expect to explore being single in the true sense, being on your own, and not simply not being in a romantic relationship. It is this focus that separates the film from the other slew of ‘rom-coms’, and is also where the film finds its heart. For someone feeling a little lonely or unsure of their relationships with the people around them this may be just what they need. It is a tale of self-discovery that reaffirms that it is okay to be on your own and you shouldn’t let others hold you back from being who you are or doing what you want. This is a sentiment applicable to people of all ages and it is this, as well as the slight variety in the films characters, that will likely mean it will appeal to a fairly wide audience.
The four leading ladies’ acting is great with each having fantastic comic timing, as well as being able to give a little more depth to their characters than they might otherwise have had. However, the film doesn’t really give each character the time to fully develop in their own right, leaving some much more thinly drawn than others, but this qualm won’t entirely impact an audience’s enjoyment of the film and, in a sense, encourages the audience to relate a little more by allowing them to fill themselves in where the characters’ profiles end.
Overall, this is a fun comedy that will put you in a good mood but also holds a gentle (and rarely explored) sentiment at its core.