How to be Single Review: Rebel is a Riot

Director: Christian Ditter

Starring: Dakota Johnson, Rebel Wilson, Leslie Mann, Alison Brie

The Overview

After suggesting a break from her long-term partner, Alice (Johnson) moves to New York in a bid to find herself and prove she can make it on her own. After befriending her motor-mouthed colleague Robin (Wilson), Alice learns what it takes to be single.

The Good

I’ve yet to watch a film that I haven’t found Rebel Wilson absolutely hilarious in, regardless of how good or bad the movie is, and in How to be Single, she is at her riotous best. Her delivery is as always on point, and she is responsible for this biggest laughs in this chick flick. Back up is also provided in romantic comedy stalwart Leslie Mann; she is so consistently funny in every film she is in, and is absolutely hilarious in this film as Alice’s career-driven older sister.

Despite her awfully bland turn in Fifty Shades of Grey, Dakota Johnson proves she has surprisingly good comic timing, although her “acting” skills still leave a lot to be desired. The pairing of her and Rebel Wilson is great, and they contrast and bounce off each other really well.

There are big laughs to be had in this film, and it easily passed the patented Mark Kermode “six laugh test”. Whilst the marketing would suggest this film is solely aimed at the female market, the potty-mouthed hilarity that Rebel Wilson spouts was enough to make everyone in the screening I was in, laugh; the men included.

This isn’t a film which is going to win any awards (obviously), and I could easily live the rest of my life and never have the urge to watch it again, but I had a good time for the most part, and it’s great switch your brain off entertainment.

The Bad

Whilst I enjoyed the fact the film didn’t solely focus on Alice and her quest to “find herself”, the sub-plots seemed out of place at points; particularly Lucy’s (Brie) story. Lucy is a serial online dater, desperate to find the one, and whilst her story overlaps with one of the characters also involved in Alice’s story, it seemed like a tenuous link that didn’t need to be there. Alison Brie does a good enough job, but if you completely removed her story line from the film, it would still make complete sense.

It also doesn’t make sense that three out of the four female characters had their own subplot, but Rebel Wilson’s character didn’t. Not only was she the funniest, and desperately underused in places, her complete lack of subplot just made her seem like the sidekick. This seemed a little unfair to me, and placed her solely in the “comic relief” category rather than giving any chance for character development. If you’re giving all but one of the supporting characters a little story line of their own, leaving one out is not cool!

The Verdict

I saw this movie and you should too, BUT only if this is your sort of film! I always struggle to review a film like this because it isn’t like I can go into great depth about the score or the cinematography, because it just isn’t that sort of film! It is completely throwaway, and instantly forgettable, but if you’re looking for a decent enough, entertaining film that will make you laugh, you’re probably going to find what you’re looking for in this. It won’t be for everyone, and I wouldn’t even say it is a “good” film, but you’ll enjoy it for what it is at the time and then never think about it again; and that’s okay sometimes! 

Agree with everything I’ve said, or am I a terribly misguided idiot who has got it all wrong? Please let me know in the comments, and don’t forget to share as well.

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