Due to my schedule and budget, I have found it hard to find time to attend the movies, but after a few months, I finally found some time (and money) to do so! I usually attend the movies solo, but on this lovely Valentine’s Day, I decided to take my younger sister along. Once again, I am single, and I decided the two of us should have some fun. My sister is in her early teens, and I thought it would be a good idea to see an empowering film. She, being a fan of Rebel Wilson and Dakota Johnson, wanted to see it anyway.
The two of us braved the lovey-dovey crowd and found our way to the film. I’m not used to large theater crowds, but I’m glad to say our trek was worth it. Ironically enough, my sister and I were the only non-couple in the theater. Sucks to live in a military town!
How to Be Single
Starring: Dakota Johnson, Rebel Wilson, Leslie Mann, Alison Brie
Director: Christian Ditter
After a break up with a long-term boyfriend, Alice (Dakota Johnson) longs to find herself. Having never been on her own, Alice comedically stumbles into adult life, and learns about love and singleness along the way. She’s joined by her wild and carefree friend Robin (Rebel Wilson), who pushes her to break out of her shell and enjoy life. Alice temporarily lives with her workaholic sister Meg (Leslie Mann), who goes through her own relationship woes. Along the way, we meet Lucy (Alison Brie), whose only connection to the other female leads is the hot bartender (Anders Holm). Lucy is a love-obsessed control freak looking to find Mr. Right by means of the web.
I must say, I thought this film would be another predictable rom-com. At first, the writers made it look that way- but decided to not play into the hands of tired stereotypes. The ending is satisfying, but not in ways I expected.
New York City was turned into a magical paradise. While it can be dingy, smelly, and noisy in real life, HTBS turns NYC into a colorful and dreamy haven for singles. Like many other films, HBTS romanticizes the look and feel of NYC even though it makes fun of other films that do such as Bridget Jones’s Diary and Sex and the City. The outfits were pretty awesome too.
Ear Porn: D
The score wasn’t anything noticeable, but there were a couple catchy tunes such as The Harlem Shake by Baauer, and Bend Ova by Lil’ Jon and Tyga.
POC Reppin’: C+
Not the most accurate portrayal of NYC ever, HTBS makes a couple strides and includes some POC’s in the cast. Interracial relationships are portrayed with two of the main characters, and there are a few POC’s scattered about the film as minor characters. Not bad, but not great either. I really wanted to see more of the relationship with David (Damon Wayans Jr.), his daughter, and Alice, but it was merely glazed over.
Girl Power: A
I love how this film empowers single women, but does not demean being in a relationship at the same time. Being alone doesn’t mean being lonely, and being in a relationship doesn’t make you any less of an independent woman. Honestly, I left this film feeling refreshed.
As the title implies, Alice finally learns to be single. She learns not to depend on anyone else for her own happiness or self-worth. She could have been with any of the guys she met in the film, but chose not to. She realizes she’s free to do what she wants to do. At the end of the film, Alice hikes on the Grand Canyon, and reflects on singleness. She cautions us to enjoy the rare times we have to ourselves, whether we’re single or not, as she stares out onto the sunrise. As a loner and true blue introvert, I could relate wholeheartedly with the statement.
Additionally, I love how HTBS defies expectations by casting Rebel Wilson as the fun-loving, promiscuous friend. She mainly serves for comedic relief, but this film proves that plus-sized women can be confident and have active sex lives. It’s usually a stigma in entertainment, but film makers are slowly realizing that women of all shapes and sizes have sex too! And it’s not disgusting!
Lastly, Meg’s situation has become a more common occurrence. As a successful woman desiring a child, she decides to use a sperm donor. Instead of finding a man, she decides raise a child on her own. She finds herself in relationship (Jake Lacy), but it happens naturally. She constantly pushes him away, but he decides to stay to help raise the child. Meg realizes it’s OK to be in a relationship and she doesn’t have to sacrifice her career or identity in the process.
Box Office: B-
While this film is doing fairly well, it is no match for the Deadpool pandemonium. My sister and I had to fight our way through scores of people left in the dust after the 3 sold-out showings. Right now, the HBTS is reporting a healthy $8.1 million opening weekend.