New York City is full of lonely hearts seeking the right match, and what Alice, Robin, Lucy, Meg, Tom and David all have in common is the need to learn how to be single in a world filled with ever-evolving definitions of love.
Much like its characters’ romantic lives, How to Be Single is more enjoyable when it’s being casual. Depicting the amorous misadventures of young and, in one case, not-so-young New Yorkers as they go looking for love in all the wrong places, this latest effort from the screenwriters of such films as He’s Just Not That Into You, Valentine’s Day and What Happens in Vegas inevitably trods familiar territory. And it frequently falls flat when it tries to invest its lightweight storyline with serious philosophizing. But it offers enough fresh, off-kilter humor to provide amusing comfort to those afflicted with the titular condition on its opening Valentine’s Day weekend.
Dakota Johnson, looking far more relaxed and comfortable here than in the Red Room of Pain in 50 Shades of Grey, plays the central role of the fresh-faced Alice, who’s temporarily split up with her longtime boyfriend Josh (Nicholas Braun) so she can find herself. Starting a new job as a paralegal at a NYC law firm, she’s instantly taken under the wing of her co-worker Robin (Rebel Wilson, not exactly cast against type), a freewheeling force of nature who instructs her in the ways of being single in the big city.