I am woman, hear me roar! How to Be Single has paraded onto screens and to dismiss it as just another rom-com would be to completely miss the message at the heart of this film, which is to discover one’s identity as an individual, to learn what it means to be single, cherish it, and, most importantly, have the time of your life while doing so! Directed by Christian Ditter, How to Be Single stars a shining cast, including Dakota Johnson and Rebel Wilson, who shower the film in boundless humour, injecting a series of laugh-out-loud moments into this soul-searching saga.
Opening in a bustling nightclub, the playground of the singleton, the film immediately conveys the vibrancy of single life, with Rebel Wilson bursting onto screen as the fun-loving Robin. Rebel steals the show, delivering her independent character’s lines with her usual comedic flair, as she instructs the newly single Alice, played by Dakota Johnson, in the right way to be single. Her sage advice provides both wisdom and wit, passing on golden nuggets such as “you’re single… you shouldn’t even have a home!” when Alice tries to slip away on a night out. Alice, who chose to end things with her boyfriend of four years in order to find out who she is as an individual, gradually learns to embrace her newfound freedom, and to relish this time between relationships when life really happens. An empowering message, and one from which singletons and those in relationships alike could benefit. Even though there is a dip in the middle, there is an excited air of anything can happen floating around this film which is infectious, and will have you eager to hit the clubs and strut your stuff.
While the premise of How to Be Single may not be anything new or wholly original, with a strong comparison popping up between it and Sex and the City, which is not surprising as it is based on the novel of the same title written by Sex and the City’s show writer and story editor, Liz Tuccillo, this does not diminish it’s narrative, still constituting a refreshing break from the aged and outmoded rom-com tropes. There remains a stagnant stigma attached to being single, as if a certain sense of embarrassment should be felt by those not in relationships, and this is what How to Be Single tackles and trashes. As Alison Brie, who plays the footloose and fancy-free Lucy, stated at the London premiere “we’re shedding the stigma that we need men for power and money and the idea that we were only meant to be a wife.” Shattering old-fashioned societal views and expectations of women, How to Be Single confidently declares if you’re not having fun being single, then you’re not doing it right!