How NOT To Be Single


Photo Courtesy of Variety.

Valentine’s Day. What a rotten day to be alive. For those of you in relationships, well, good for you. But for the rest of the human population Feb. 14 is a day of deep, deep sadness, often spent in the comfort of one’s bed while watching a series of soppy romance movies and consuming an excessive amount of chocolate (which you bought for yourself, of course).

So when last Sunday rolled around, myself along with my 3 other single girlfriends thought it would be a great idea to go out to dinner, spoil ourselves rotten, and then watch a movie. How To Be Single seemed like our best option from here. Seemingly, this movie would be perfect for our little “date,” as on the surface it appeared to be step-by-step tutorial that not only empowered young, single women, but also held the promise of 50 Shades of Grey star, Dakota Johnson, on the big screen once more.

Unfortunately, we couldn’t have been more disappointed. Upon exiting that movie theatre, I could only feel as though I had wasted the last 1 hour and 50 minutes of my life on a movie that was plainly, horrifically, bad.

Our heroine here is Alice (Dakota Johnson), who decides that she needs a break from her college boyfriend, Josh (Nicholas Braun) to “discover herself.” So she travels to New York City and moves in with her older sister Meg (Leslie Mann), who has baby and boyfriend issues of her own. Alice befriends her vivacious co-worker Robin (Rebel Wilson), who ultimately shows her “how to be single,” by partying, getting guys to buy her drinks, and having a series of one-night stands. She sleeps with Tom (Anders Holm), who actually likes Lucy (Alison Brie), and while she is thin, intelligent, and well-off, our main character somehow still finds so much to be unhappy about.

Here’s where our message gets mixed up. Instead of advocating the importance of self-love and development, it seems as though Hollywood still assumes that a woman must have a man to be happy. It is only in the last 5 minutes that the director seems to come to his senses and send Alice on a trip to the Grand Canyon, where she finally embraces her single life after being defined by her relationships throughout the entire movie.

If you are anything like me, a young adult in college, you definitely do not need any advice on how to be single. Let alone the advice from a movie, which, plainly, tells you to have 1) No hobbies aside from work and drinking at the bar, 2) Have no stable friendships, and 3) Be constantly miserable until you can find a boyfriend. Our director, Christian Ditter, incorporates an overwhelming number of main characters while attempting to depict real-life relationships, but because their stories are so thinly spread, there ends up being no real characters that we care much about.

This is one of those rom-coms that can come across as being witty and realistic, yet while celebrating superficial behaviour and consumerism, the characters all fall into a bubble of cringe-worthy stereotypes. The women are portrayed as incompetent and desperate, while the male characters are all depicted as unemotional, hollow savages.

Don’t get me wrong, there were some laughs, some funny jokes spared, where the movie earns its R-rating. One day, a director will write a script that is worthy of Dakota Johnson’s potential as an actress. But until then, take my advice and steer clear of this easily-forgettable movie on how NOT to be single.


3 out of 5 dolphins.