The Coincidental Critic

Exploring the art of storytelling.

How to Be Single: A Romantic Comedy? (SPOILERS)


“How to Be Single” followed the stories of- I would argue- three women: Alice, Meg, and Lucy (Robin barely had any story).  Each woman dealt with life and relationships.  And each woman had very different experiences.

“How to Be Single” was very relatable.  It showed the ups and downs of different types of relationships.  I’m sure almost every person could relate to at least one character or situation.

I loved the writing in “How to Be Single.”  There were some great one-liners.  The writing was humorous and clever.  The characters’ conversations were sometimes awkward, but they were realistic and the dialogue flowed naturally.

Unlike most romantic comedies, “How to Be Single” was not predictable.  I had no idea how it would end- who would end up with who or who would just end up alone.

I am so glad that Alice didn’t end up with anyone at end.  She was the main character of the film.  In the end, she learned how to be single, live alone, and love herself.  The last scene of the film showed her hiking the Grand Canyon on New Years, something she discussed with a few of her past partners.  It was empowering to see Alice do this on her own.

“How to Be Single” was less funny than I expected.  There were some great moments when I would laugh out loud, but far more moments when I would empathize with the characters.  I wasn’t expecting the film to be so emotional.  The characters faced some tough situations.  They shed more tears than laughs.  “How to Be Single” had a much deeper message behind the comedy fluff.  It was about people learning to love- whether that be romantic love, family love, friend love, or self love.

The advertisements for “How to Be Single” were heavily focused on the comedic Rebel Wilson.  Unfortunately, she did not have nearly as much screen time as the trailers suggested.  When she was present, she was hilarious, but those moments were scarce compared to what I expected.  She didn’t have much importance in the film other than comic relief.  I wish we saw more of Wilson.  Her character, Robin, lacked character development.  I would have loved to see the development of her relationship with Alice.  It just seemed like they met and were instantly best friends.  Wilson deserved more substantial screen time.

I got the impression that “How to Be Single” wanted to be like “Love Actually” or “Valentine’s Day” with the several different characters and storylines involving love.  But “How to Be Single” was heavily focused on Alice, making the other characters and storylines less important.  While Alice’s storyline flourished, the others fell short.  In fact, the other characters’ storylines just felt like distractions.  The writers should have either put all the focus on Alice or divided it up more evenly amongst the characters.

Lucy’s story was disconnected from the rest of the characters.  It took me a while to figure out her place in the whole film.  The only character she was connected to was Tom.  Unlike the rest of the characters, she never met the main character, Alice.  The writers should have taken Lucy’s storyline out of the film or given her more significance.  It just felt like she was kind of floating there.  I didn’t understand her purpose other than to provide another viewpoint on relationships.

During several scenes, the camera was very close to the characters.  In these scenes, the characters were usually moving around a lot and the cameras followed suit, trying to stay focused on their subject.  Unfortunately, these scenes were sometimes difficult to watch.  They almost made me feel claustrophobic.  It was too close for comfort.

Overall, I enjoyed “How to Be Single.”  It wasn’t what I expected, but that made me like it more.  I got a lot more out of it than just a few good laughs.

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This entry was posted on February 16, 2016 by in Movie and tagged , , , , , .
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