HOW TO BE SINGLE
There’s a right way to be single, a wrong way to be single, and then…there’s Alice. And Robin. Lucy. Meg. Tom. David. New York City is full of lonely hearts seeking the right match, be it a love connection, a hook-up, or something in the middle. And somewhere between the teasing texts and one-night stands, what these unmarrieds all have in common is the need to learn how to be single in a world filled with ever-evolving definitions of love. Sleeping around in the city that never sleeps was never so much fun.
REVIEW: I have to begin by telling you that I could totally identify with the character of Alice (Dakota Johnson) in this film. That is 20 year old me, 1980’s me. I was young, single and starry eyed when I arrived. I had pretty much the same idea then that I had lived my whole life under my parents’ roof and I didn’t want to enter married life without having lived on my own. And if I was going to live on my own, it was going to be in the best big city in the world, New York! I even had my very own Robin (Rebel Wilson). Her name, er, his name was Albert and he was just as experienced and jaded by the whole single, night life of the big apple. Like Alice, I didn’t go straight into living on my own. Alice has her loving, successful older sister Meg (Leslie Mann) to depend on and I had Albert who already had a rent controlled apartment with a third roommate to boot.
Alice has had a “safe” life so far as she gets ready to go out into the real world. She has a wonderful boyfriend she’s known since her first days in college. “Meet Cute” (that’s movie speak) and all! When they stand on the precipice of full on adult life, Alice asks Josh (Nicholas Braun) for a break. Not a “we need to see other people” kind of break, just a “let me see what being on my own feels like” kind of break. So she heads out to start a job at a big city law firm and immediately makes the acquaintance of party girl Robin. She’s not your average run of the mill club rat, but if you know anything about Rebel Wilson, then you kind of know what to expect. Dakota Johnson embodies this innocent translucence (even after 50 Shades of Grey) that is so very important to the character of Alice. I think her face just screams ingénue. Leslie Mann, as her older, protector sister, is an accomplished and established OBGYN who is suddenly hearing her biological clock ticking loudly and taking care of her little sister is just not enough anymore. Their relationship is sweet and quite poignant.
There is a plethora of characters in this flick to identify with. There is Lucy (Alison Brie) who is sure that if you follow the right algorithms and hang out at the right bar, you are going to meet Mr. Right…. even though your marriage and baby carriage obsession might just send him running for the hills. Then there’s the male opposite of Lucy, Tom, the barkeep (Anders Holm), who knows all the moves, gets all the girls and never gets involved nor does he let anyone get to him, or does he? What about Alice’s dependable Josh? Well, he was built to settle down and he doesn’t seem to have much patience or in my opinion, sensitivity. What did Jennifer Aniston once say about Brad Pitt? Oh yeah, he was missing a sensitivity chip.
Along the way, our leading lady will meet several people that will be pivotal in helping her find her way and lives will change as the film moves along. I can’t say enough about the scenery in my beloved NYC. There is a tiny reminiscence of Sex in The City that you might blink and miss, but it’s there. This film is fun, you will laugh your butt off (at least I did, and that’s not easy) and you will find some romance. I say this is a terrific Rom-Com to go see this Valentine’s Day. It might not end the way you think it will, but it may teach you a lesson about loving yourself, before you can love someone else.
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