The best thing about this movie was New York City. I love that city. I love it so much I can’t quite justify why I don’t live there, except then I couldn’t visit. And boy do I visit. I hit that city like a hurricane of cash and I only leave when I’ve spent myself out. It sparkled in every nearly scene of this movie, which is more than I can say about the leads – Alison Brie, a total snore; Dakota Johnson, devoid of personality; Rebel Wilson against whom I am loathe to say a bad word except she’s working a shtick that’s tired and offensive (dear Hollywood producers, including Drew Barrymore, the name behind this particular mess: I have it on very good authority that it IS possible for a female to be fat and NOT obnoxious. I promise you it’s true!). I didn’t have a problem with Leslie Mann, resident old lady (seriously, it’s great that she’s game to play the crone opposite young actresses all the time, but let’s not put her in a box!), so of course she’s the least used of the four.
I think this is supposed to be a feminist rom-com, only without the rom, or the com. There’s nothing new here, and the notion that the feminist choice is between one boyfriend or many, is pretty insulting. The lesson taken from How To Be Single (besides consumerism and alcoholism) is either a) be rich enough to not need a man (and\or fat enough not to land one) or b) sleep with people you know you shouldn’t while pining over the guy YOU rejected and wallowing in self-pity and a bad haircut. Because how else will we women ever hang a picture or program our PVRs? I cannot recall laughing a single time during this movie, but I do remember wincing in several spots – like when it quietly referenced a better movie about female empowerment. If this was an attempt to be ‘different’ it was a very, very conservative effort while still relying on heaps of familiar tropes and situations (ie, how did all the guys I’m sleeping with end up at the same party???).
And it’s too bad. Because in the time I was briefly single, I felt happy and alive. And maybe some of that was leaving a bad marriage, but the freedom tasted sweet and the possibilities felt truly exhilarating. I was tingly feeling genuinely awake and I embraced being happy on my own. And I was. Very. And then I met Sean and became very happy with him. In fact, he made me unsingle five years ago this Saturday and I am plump with satisfaction. It is extremely gratifying to go through life with someone who gets you and wants the best for you. But I was happy being on my own, truly happy, and I wasn’t missing anything. And I certainly wasn’t missing this movie in my life, and neither are you. Not even a little.