Complete A-Z list

How to Be Single


Stars: Dakota Johnson, Rebel Wilson, Alison Brie, Leslie Mann, Anders Holm, Damon Wayans Jr, Nicholas Braun, Jake Lacy

Director: Christian Ditter

An odd mixture of raunchy sex comedy and a wistful, atmospheric look at New York's busy, bustling singles scene, this is better than you might expect, and certainly better than its awful trailer.

There are moments of laugh-out-loud vulgarity, and lots of softer 'aaah' moments for a girlie audience. What lets the film down is its frequent unnatural dialogue and characters who too often fail to come across as real people in real situations.

Alice (Johnson), dumped by boyfriend Josh (Braun) after three years together, is new on the singles circuit, but soon introduced to it by rotund and rowdy co-worker Robin (Wilson). 'You gotta go round the board,' Robin tells her. 'Pass go. Collect 200 dicks.'

So there's Tom, the testosterone-packed barman (Holm) at the local rave, widower David (Wayans Jr), or just maybe ol' Josh, now with a fiancée but still, it seems, with a yen for Alice. Or should it be none of them?

And then there's Alice's much-older sister, Meg (Mann), a 40something doctor who suddenly yearns to have a child, and finds a man (Lacy) to go with her IVF pregnancy.

Johnson does well, and there are times when the film is almost there, in its own little niche. But its inconsistent tone finally relegates it to the second-rank of romantic movies set in an ever-glowing Big Apple.

David Quinlan

USA 2016. UK Distributor: Warner Brothers (MGM/New Line). Colour by Fotokem.
107 minutes. Widescreen. UK certificate: 15.

Guidance ratings (out of 3): Sex/nudity 1, Violence/Horror 0, Drugs 0, Swearing 2.

Review date: 15 Feb 2016