How To Be Single (2016)


Bil’s rating (out of 5): BBB

USA, 2016, , , , Screen story by , , Screenplay by Abby Kohn, Marc Silverstein, , based on the book by Cinematography by Produced by Dana Fox, Music by Production Design by Costume Design by Film Editing by

breaks up with her college sweetheart because she wants to “find herself”, then minutes into her single life as a swinging Manhattan singleton decides she’s had enough of freedom and wants him back. Unfortunately, he has moved on, leaving her to learn how to enjoy liberty in the big city as a hard-working paralegal, taking advice from a girl she meets at work (), a party animal for whom getting drunk and getting laid are the only proper way to end a proper day. Johnson has moved in with her sister (), an OB-GYN who has given up on her dreams of love and marriage and has decided to have a baby by artificial insemination, then after successfully achieving pregnancy meets a handsome young man () who is intensely crazy about her.  Meanwhile, Johnson has the occasional tryst with a handsome bartender (), who has perfected the art of staying single and unavailable to what he feels are clingy women, and is teaching his philosophy to , who uses his bar’s wifi to indulge her obsession with gaming the algorithms on dating sites. There’s no denying that everything about this movie is aspirational, from the gorgeous open spaces that young people can suspiciously afford to the fact that New York has no bad weather days, even in the middle of winter, but there’s a sincerity with which it is directed and performed that almost makes you forget (or at least good-naturedly ignore) how insincere its plotting is. It continues the fairy tale that humans have been deluding themselves with since time began, that if you learn to not care about such superficial things as romance and rich friends, they’ll come to you, but it uses enough good jokes to make the lies go down pretty smoothly. Made after the popularity of Bridesmaids changed the face of comedy focused on women, it’s a nice throwback for anyone who sees girls proving they’re as outrageous as guys by shitting themselves on screen and fondly remembers when Drew Barrymore (who here produces) or Jennifer Aniston searched for love armed with a trendy apartment and a quirky best friend (or Katherine Heigl in the ones they turned down).  Best of all, the film gets the entire casting roster correct, emphasizing great chemistry between either lovers or friends and focusing on a sense of hope and delicate charm for all. is marvelous in a small role as a romantic possibility for one of the leading ladies.

One Comment Add yours

  1. Sam Simon says:

    Great review! I understand why you have a positive opinion about the movie, but its “insincere” nature makes me suspect that I would hate it. All these perfect people living in a perfect world… it does’t feel like my kind of movie!

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