“How to Be Single” offers subpar laughs

Andrew Shermoen

“How to Be Single” is the most recent venture of writers Abby Kohn and Marc Silverstein, who have been the pens behind several average romantic comedies such as “He’s Just Not That Into You,” “Valentine’s Day” and “Never Been Kissed.” They offer subpar romantic comedies that aren’t unique or memorable in any way, and while “How to Be Single” definitely falls into that category, it does offer some funny moments and clever visual cues that you don’t see in many “average” comedies.

Alice (Dakota Johnson) is a young paralegal in New York City who has recently decided to live the single life. When she meets Robin (Rebel Wilson) she learns of the perks of single life she’s never known before. Alice’s sister Meg is an OBGYN who currently abhors children and has to deal with Robin and Alice crashing in her apartment. They both frequent the bar of Tom, who is currently being constantly visited by single, but marriage obsessed, Lucy.

The performances are average. Rebel Wilson delivers some humorous physical comedy, but none of her other comedic talents are well-utilized. Dakota Johnson basically is a more quirky and humorous re-creation of Anastasia Steele, her character from “50 Shades of Grey.” She simply portrays a woman desperate for male interaction. She’s awkward, but affably so, making her interesting to every character in the film, but not to the audience.

Alison Brie’s character is one of the most contemptible characters I’ve ever seen, coming off as more of a self-entitled jerk than what her character is intended to be.

Leslie Mann’s character Meg is the most interesting of the bunch. She’s funny and her story is the most intriguing. She learns and she finds ways to support herself but also to love others around her. The ending of her subplot is too abrupt and hardly believable, but the journey is very fun.

Tom, played by Anders Holm, is a fun character, but his stereotype at the beginning is a bit too on-the-nose to actually believe in the change he goes through. Still, he’s funny and his delivery is enjoyably subtle.

There are a few interesting scenes with visual cues that are unique and almost Edgar Wright-esque. Alice scrambles around an apartment counting the number of drinks she’s had as each bottle is illuminated with a blue neon number.

Robin and Alice run through downtown New York getting rid of hangover as Robin explains the steps to do so, with rules popping up next to her head. This scene is reminiscent of the rules in “Zombieland” and makes for a fun, fast-paced scene.

“How to Be Single” somewhat feels like a copy and paste of “single-life female, falls in love” that made “Trainwreck” so enjoyable, but without the bright humor and interesting characters that Amy Schumer’s script brought to the table.

“How to Be Single” might work for some couples as a fun Valentine’s film, but it won’t go down as something memorable to come out of this year, and it certainly isn’t the most fun they could have this holiday. Laughs it has, but compelling plot and characters it lacks.

Rating: 2.5/5