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Comedy teaches audience ‘How to Be Single’

By Danielle Silvia

With Valentine’s Day right around the corner, the film “How to Be Single” premiered on Friday, Feb. 12, to a sea of eager moviegoers. After taking a trip to the theater with my friends, I can say the movie was probably one of the best, most memorable films I have seen.

The movie stars “50 Shades of Gray” starlet Dakota Johnson as the female protagonist, Alice. The film begins in a familiar setting for many college students — a communal bathroom where Alice sports flip flops and a shower caddy. When her towel slips off, the boy next door, Josh (Nicholas Braun), comes to the rescue and the two become an item.

Johnson and Wilson bring the laughs in ‘Single.’ (AP Photo)
Johnson and Wilson bring the laughs in ‘Single.’ (AP Photo)

Fast forward four years, as Alice feels that the couple should break up and try being single in order to discover new lives for themselves. They go their separate ways and encounter many extravagant characters along the way. One of my favorites is Rebel Wilson, who plays Johnson’s partner in crime, Robin. She teaches Alice about the single lifestyle and partying, with a somewhat risky twist.

The movie is filled with ups and downs, especially when Alice and Josh go through their new relationships. Until the end of the movie, I could not sit still because I was wondering if they would end up back together or not and how they would cope with either outcome. Alice in particular learns a lot about herself through other characters, such as her sister (Leslie Mann), Robin and a local bartender named Tom (Anders Holm). The situations that these characters experience together help shape Alice’s choices and, as a result, her fate.

Something that prominently distinguishes “How to Be Single” from other romantic comedies is the various range of emotions that were nicely balanced throughout the film. There were times of hysterical laughter (many times due to Wilson’s character), as well as sadness, joy and confusion. All of these emotions, when exemplified in different contexts, scream real life to the audience. Life is not always peaches and cream, and therefore, there aren’t always happy endings. This movie played with this theme multiple times.

The movie’s title, “How to Be Single,” also implies more than just being in a relationship during Valentine’s Day. The movie focuses on what it is like to be young and single for many women and men today, as well as for those in other situations. For instance, how to be a single dad or how to be single for most of your life. A major driving point of this film is being content with your choices, whether it is to be single or in a relationship, and “How to Be Single” definitely has fun with this idea.


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