By JENNA WOS, Copy Editor
I was happy to see a movie released this Valentine’s Day weekend that isn’t just another cheesy Nicholas Sparks love story, but what I thought would be the complete opposite — How to Be Single.
Set in New York City, the film focuses on a few different storylines. Alice (Dakota Johnson) is taking a “break” from her longterm boyfriend to learn how to be her own person. She meets Robin (Rebel Wilson), who calls Alice “Season Three Ross” and tells her that’s not a real thing, but teaches her out-all-night, single-life habits anyway. Alice’s older sister, Meg (Leslie Mann), is a workaholic obstetrician who gets pregnant through artificial insemination, only to meet a guy directly after. Also coming into play is Lucy (Alison Brie), a woman on 10 different dating sites trying to find the right man; Tom, a bartender who has single all figured out; and a few other men.
Though the “we’re taking a break so I can find myself” premise was expected, it wasn’t played out the way I thought it would be. Even though she wanted to be alone, Alice still sought after men, defeating the whole purpose of breaking it off with her beau in the first place. After she gets her kicks a few times, she goes back to her boyfriend and says she is ready to get back together, only to find out he’s met someone new. Later, she has a threemonth fling with another guy — again, not trying to be single and find herself, which is what bugged me most about the film.
Though her protagonist character was a bit flat, Johnson gave a believable performance and one completely different than her submissive role in last year’s Fifty Shades of Grey. Wilson always brings comic relief, but I’d like to see her take on a different character than her “Fat Amy” persona from Pitch Perfect. Mann did a good job of playing an independent, older-sister-type, which is slightly different from the typical married life character she’s played in Knocked Up and This is 40.
In the end, Alice hikes the Grand Canyon — something she’s always wanted to do — and has a conclusive line in relation to the movie’s title about doing things on your own and learning to be yourself. Although the title is a bit misleading, with Alice floating amongst guys for the majority of the film, it is one I would recommend seeing, as I laughed throughout the whole thing and thought it captured the reality of relationships without vomit-inducing romantic gestures and confessions of love.