zondag 14 februari 2016

Today's Review: How to Be Single

Oh look, it's another movie review!:

How to Be Single - recensie

A typical romantic comedy for Valentine's Day, I expect the concept was here. But actually, How to Be Single isn't quite so typical. It just plays with typical characters in typical situations searching for typical love. And atypically, not finding it. Because the ultimate message is that you need to get to know yourself and your own desires before you can adequately satisfy or be satisfied by someone else's. And to do that, you need to know how to be self reliable. Like the titel says, how to be single. Seems easy enough, hardly a novel life lesson, but not for these women who prove blind to this notion for far too long. Which also hinders the comedic element quite a bit, and thus the level on which this movie can be enjoyed.

Revolving about the romantics of four different women - plus several men, who all are relegated to the side, since the target audience of course is female - How to Be Single follows their desperate attempts to hook up with members of the opposite sex (quite a conservative approach, there's no other options that characterize our contemporary multisexual society explored here). They suck at it. Young Alice just got out of a relationship and doesn't know how to rely on her own in the busy night life of New York City. Fortunately party animal Robin is willing to teach her, but she specializes in one-night stands, so her advice proves to be of little use for something more serious, nor should her wild tactics be considered exemplary at all. Alice's sister Meg wants a child, but due to her busy career she has no time for a man. Does she have time for a baby then? Not really, it seems. Lucy keeps looking for any available men online, rather than seeing the obvious partner right in front of her. Her story and character are sadly underdeveloped, which is made more regrettable by the fact that this also means underusing Alison Brie's considerable comedic talents. It would have been better if her story line had been eliminated altogether to make room for the others, but since the modern notion of looking for true love on social media is her angle, it was kept in so the movie could appear to say a thing or two about digital dating, which it hardly does.

In terms of comedy, How to Be Single also proves a letdown. The characters of Meg and especially Alice are bland and naive and provide mostly predictable melodrama. It's up to Rebel Wilson's Robin to ensure the laughs, and at least she succeeds admirably at that. In fact, the movie seems to drag and drone on whenever she's off-screen for too long. But when she's involved, the atmosphere quickly gets more appreciable. Makes you wonder whether a movie dealing entirely with her character would not have been preferable. But then, films about loose female characters with questionable dating ethics and a taste for alcoholic indulgence screwing their way through the male portion of humanity are hardly unique. Then again, neither are mosaic romance pictures like this flick. And there's better examples of those available than How to Be Single.

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