Single all the way

How to be Single , based on the novel of the same name by Liz Tuccillo, and evident from its very title, is in a way an antithesis of a traditional romcom. In some ways, this is a romantic comedy that treads some familiar territory but it supposedly encourages us to realise the value of being single. Or, as it should have been. It’s a paradox in a way. How do you make a romantic comedy that says you are probably better off being single than in a relationship?

But instead of being as interesting as it may sound, How to be Single ends up being just another silly romcom with cute baby moments, and the manufactured championing of single independent womanhood.

The film is about four women, with the central focus on Alice ( Dakota Johnson) in New York city, whose lives seem to revolve around sleeping with random guys or contemplating about the relative merits of singlehood and a relationship.

I don’t know if it’s in the first few minutes, that I missed, but Alice doesn’t seem to have a working life. The lack of a semblance of this sort of realism makes the film feel utterly empty.

It attempts to subvert some of the romcom tropes. The story begins with Alice and her boyfriend Josh (Nicholas Braun) taking a break from their relationship.

While we see Alice meeting new guys — some of the genre stock characters such as the no-strings-attached, funny and friendly bartender, the black, married man with a dead wife and a daughter. And when none of these work, impulsive sex with the ex doesn’t work either.

How to be Single is a victim of its own intentions, a flat, hackneyed film that is completely missable on a weekend at the movies when the two other Hollywood releases are Deadpool and Trumbo .

How to be single

Director: Christian Ditter

Starring: Dakota Johnson, Rebel Wilson, Leslie Mann, Anders Holm, Nicholas Braun, Alison Brie

Run time: 110 min

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