Projections - Movie Reviews
With Jim Sabatini


How To Be Single

How To Be Single
Starring:
Dakota Johnson, Rebel Wilson, Leslie Mann, Damon Wayans Jr., Anders Holm, Nicholas Braun and Jake Lacy


Rated: R for sexual content and strong language throughout.
Reviewed by: Frank  
Release date: February 12, 2016 Released by: New Line Cinema

Back in the 70s a Broadway musical play called Subways are For Sleeping followed a young woman who worked in the exciting world of New York City.  Her central song basically said something like:  Right under your eyes, all around the city, in this great big city, many girls like me are busy buzzing in our hives, bright career girls with exciting frantic lives.  Invited are we to all the right places, openings, parties and showers, but when evening comes we come home to empty hours.  How To Be Single 2016 dumps that forty year old idea and follows Alice (Dakota Johnson (Fifty Shades of Gray) all around New York City where some women determine their life is not necessarily tied to a husband and kids.
 
Part of what works here, is we can't tell from the beginning who will end up where at the end of the story.  But it is clear that some will take differing paths but the twists in the plot limit out ability to decide who will do what with her life. 
 
Alice comes into the wonderland having asked Josh (Nicholas Braun) her intended to allow for a trial separation, she wants to live alone for a time.  After all she went from living with her parents, to a college dormitory and then living with Josh.  She questions what does the world hold for her outside of the life track she is on and will probably continue with? She bunks in with her sister Meg (Leslie Mann) who is a gynecologist that does not want to marry and have kids.  She meets Robin (Rebel Wilson) who usually steals the show but here is the catalyst for the actions and reactions of the other characters. There's flirting with a bar tender (Anders Holm) and Damon Wayans Jr. who is a widower with a little girl.  But mostly Alice wanders through the single world not sure of her next step.  She is happy to be in her apartment reading by the window but constantly comes into contact with her various dates and even Josh who eventually finds a new love. 
 
Jake Lacy finds Meg interesting but she plans to have a child on her own and picks just the right sperm donor to fill her needs.  He's there but she determined early on that she will be a single mother.  Jake as Ken has other ideas.
 
All that mix could have stumbled into a standard Love Boat plot but it doesn't.  Alice is stronger at the end and she reaches for the dreams she had that would not have occurred if she married Josh.  Following the thinking and new world these young women live in doesn't bring or Alice to Wonderland or to the battles through the looking glass.  How To Be Single brings us laughs and a look at a different courting style than has been traditional. On Dakota Johnson, Rebel Wilson and Leslie Mann it looks good.

  Frank Chris Jim Dave Nina Dayra Howard Jennifer Kathleen  Avg. 
How To Be Single  B      C            B         B- 

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