‘How To Be Single’ serves as a guide on how not to make a movie

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photo courtesy of collider.com

‘How to Be Single’ is an incredibly boring and predictable waste of time.

Alec Badalian, Magazine Editor

Romantic comedies, like all movies, have the potential of greatness. Blending these two components should be a recipe for both heartwarming laughs and touching emotions. However, based on a majority of recent efforts in the genre, there seems to be a slew of problems that arise whenever this combination occurs. Whether it be forced sentimentality or painfully unfunny antics, these flaws can take what could have been decent time at the movies and turn it into a nauseating experience.

If there were a museum that displayed essentially every trope one could find in the dullest of romantic comedies, Warner Bros.’ How To Be Single would be that museum.

Attempting to charm its way into theaters on Feb. 12 for Valentine’s Day weekend, this convoluted tale introduces us to Alice (Dakota Johnson), a young woman living in the craziness of New York City who decides to take a break in her relationship in order to “discover who she is.” In doing so, she moves in with her sister Meg (Leslie Mann) and meets the hard-partying Robin (Rebel Wilson) at the law firm where she works. As time goes on, her boyfriend drifts apart from her and finds someone else, leaving her to navigate through her life with the help of her new friend.

But that’s not all. Meg, a middle-aged nurse, decides she wants to have a baby but doesn’t know who she wants to have it with. Thus, she finds a sperm donor and begins her path to becoming a mother. However, on this path, she strikes up a romance with a younger man and is left conflicted over whether he should be the baby’s father.

But that’s also not all. Lucy (Alison Brie) is in search for the perfect man herself and spends the entirety of her days on online dating websites looking for the one. She’s then noticed by the womanizing bartender Josh (Anders Holm) and then they seem to strike their own romance, as he sees the error of his debaucherous ways.

So much more happens in this mess of a movie, and to a nauseating level. Trying to scramble all the pieces of this movie and shape it into a coherent plot is like trying to complete a jigsaw puzzle while blindfolded. There’s just way too much going on here, as the film jumps back and forth into all these different people’s lives, none of which is interesting in the slightest. Everything about them is just unbelievably cliched — from their personalities all the way down to their ridiculous character arcs. From the first scene to last, everything can be seen coming from miles upon miles away with no real sense of freshness or creativity.

The haphazardly drab storyline also never develops any of its characters, for it can never decide which one which to primarily focus. Instead, it follows each of them within these brief segments, giving the audience no time to attach to them, so whenever anything happens to them, there’s never any kind of payoff due to the lack of connection.

Whenever a character does something hilarious or goes through a significantly emotional moment, it’s impossible to feel any emotional response because the characters are never fleshed out as people. The movie never earns any of its attempts at emotional resonance nor its attempts at comedic genius. Alas, all it has to offer is some horribly stale dialogue, lousy situational humor, cheap gags and dull physical comedy mainly from Wilson who plays literally the same character in every movie.

How To Be Single is a bafflingly lazy, mediocre void of laughs that never offers anything worthwhile. From its disastrous writing, weak ensemble and tonal inconsistency, there’s never a redeemable moment in this horrendous romp.