Movie Date: How To Be Single (NC16)
More than your typical chick flick, one even the guys may warm up to.
STARRING: Dakota Johnson, Rebel Wilson, Leslie Mann, Alison Brie, Anders Holm, Nicholas Braun, Damon Wayans Jr.
DIRECTOR: Christian Ditter
THE SKINNY: Newly single Alice (Johnson) is taught how to party like a true New York singleton by her best friend Robin (Wilson). Together with Alice’s sister Meg (Mann) and fellow barcrawler Lucy (Brie), they learn how to be single in the complicated world of dating.
MARS by JASON JOHNSON
This chick flick is quite different from how it's being sold.
We see a lot of Wilson in the trailer, with the plus-size funnywoman reeling off tips on how to pick up dudes and cure hangovers.
The movie itself, however, focuses a lot more on the serious feelings of its actual star, Johnson.
The daughter of actors Melanie Griffith and Don Johnson, she's a natural performer. Despite what the haters say, she really proved her chops in Fifty Shades Of Grey and does so again here.
Come to think of it, her journey in both films is rather similar.
She starts out as an awkward girl and then transforms into a savvy woman.
Her journey as a singleton really rings true for me.
It's not so much about finding a man, as finding your own sense of self-worth.
Of course, along the way, there are also a lot of men.
She has a fling with a bartender, gets involved with a single father and there are a few random hook-ups.
I could imagine a movie where the desperate attempt to find a man ends triumphantly, with the girl landing the fella of her dreams. Isn't this what most romantic comedies are about?
How To Be Single isn't as flashy and funny as that iconic TV show-turned-movie, but in some ways I find it richer and deeper.
There's a certain wisdom about it, at least when Johnson is the focus.
The ending is particularly strong.
VENUS by LISA TWANG
This is a dead ringer for Sex And The City.
Alice is Carrie, Meg is Miranda, Lucy is Charlotte and Robin a more bootylicious version of Samantha. And of course it's set in New York City, familiar territory for any Sex And The City fan.
Wilson is truly the star of the show, stealing every scene she's in with her no-holds-barred raunchy humour. As Robin, she's a whirlwind of delicious destruction, chugging drinks like an unwashed trucker and barking orders at Alice to pay for drinks with "the sausage wallet" (hot guys with money).
She's rude, crude and so adorable, you wish she's your best friend, too.
Johnson has less sparkle but plays Alice well enough that you care about her dating trials and struggle to find herself.
I've always thought of Johnson as a more bland version of Anne Hathaway but, who knows, maybe her strength is in being so relatable and not at all like a Hollywood glamazon.
We get eye candy in the form of flirty bartender Tom (Holm) and single dad David (Wayans) who play an important part in Alice's journey towards self-acceptance.
I didn't care much for her ex-boyfriend Josh (Braun) who is not only whiny but decidedly weird-looking.
How To Be Single may look like a mindless drunken party but it's deeper than that. Besides some truly funny moments courtesy of Wilson, the ending answers the question of its title eloquently.
THE CONSENSUS: This turns out to be more than your typical chick flick, one even the guys may warm up to.