Dakota Johnson and Drew Barrymore were enough to pique my interest in their new movie “How to Be Single,” even though I’m pretty jaded about all these young-adult movies. Demographically speaking, they are a bit out of my comfort zone.
Johnson, who famously broke out in the erotic movie “50 Shades of Grey” stars. Barrymore, a queen of rom-com date movies, is a producer.
The movie is based on a book with the same name by Liz Tucillo, a veteran of HBO’s “Sex & the City” and film “He’s Just Not That Into You.”
The cast includes Rebel Wilson, Alison Brie and Leslie Mann.
Director Christian Ditter (Love, Rosie, The Crocodiles) takes full advantage of visually sumptuous New York City where the picture was filmed. On the downside, many of these scenes are often clumsy.
Still, Dakota Johnson exudes wisdom beyond her years. I didn’t see “50 Shades of Grey” (and, still don’t plan to), but she’s become a very accomplished actress.
Mann does a wonderful job as Meg. Cool, confident, she’s definitely a thoroughly modern woman and perfect for the older sister role.
Wilson is a scene stealer. She’s rowdy, boisterous and bigger-than-life in any scene she’s in; she brings it home.
Although the women take center stage, Damon Wayans Jr., Nicholas Braun and Jake Lacey (HBO’s “Girls”) are all pitch perfect. (Did I really just say that?)
In the film, Johnson plays Alice, a young 20-something, who has decided on a trial separation from her boyfriend, Josh, because she fears she’s missing out–on what exactly is never really defined.
Soon she’s having one-night-stands and episodes of outrageous behavior. Actually, it doesn’t look like all that much fun. Alice soon figures out the men all have their own baggage.
Finally, she tells Josh she’s ready to get back together. But he tells her he’s fallen for someone else, mostly because his new girlfriend isn’t her.
Stunned and conflicted, Johnson continues her search for a new life partner with mixed results and not a little humiliation. Josh invites her to a Christmas party and introduces her to his new girlfriend–as his cousin!
Meanwhile, Alice’s sister Meg (Mann), a doctor, is determined, at first, not have a child. But she bonds with a baby at her hospital and immediately sets out to became pregnant through IVF (I said this was a very modern film!).
While a source of constant comfort to Alice, Meg finally meets someone at Alice’s Christmas party, no less. He accidentally discovers she’s pregnant; I won’t reveal what happens next, but expect the unexpected.
The movie ends with the baby being born, and Alice still searching, but for what, she’s still not certain.
The movie cries out for a sequel, and maybe that’s the plan. If it is, I hope the entire cast returns. Funny for sure, “How To Be Single” is a date movie worth the price of a ticket and popcorn.
But you’ll have to draw your own conclusions about dating, sex and life.
The movie hits theaters this weekend, Feb. 12.
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