As we’ve seen with #OscarsSoWhite, Hollywood is slow to change. Right now, romcoms are cold-turkeying without Jane Austen’s nineteenth-century happy-ever-after plotlines and wrapping their heads around the brave new world of Lena Dunham. As modern dating movies go, ‘How to Be Single’ gets a lot right.
A tale of four women in New York, it’s adapted from a novel by ‘Sex and the City’ writer Liz Tuccillo. Dakota Johnson is the same shy, pretty, quirky girl she played in ‘Fifty Shades’ as graduate Alice, who splits with her college boyfriend to ‘spend time alone’. Inducting Alice into the ways of singledom is hilarious Rebel Wilson (‘Pitch Perfect’) as her crazy mate from work, who has all kinds of theories about sex including a ‘drink number’: the total number of drinks it takes before any male-female friendship pair end up having sex.
A storyline with Alison Brie as marriage-obsessed Lucy, who’s signed up to ten dating websites, is a bit try-hard. Ironically, the best plot here is a gorgeous romance between Johnson’s hardworking sister (Leslie Mann) and a puppy-dog adorable, much younger receptionist (Jake Lacy) – flipping romcom stereotypes. Nothing here will blow you away, but baby steps…