New York City is full of lonely hearts seeking the right match, and what Alice, Robin, Lucy, Meg, Tom and David all have in common is the need to learn how to be single in a world filled with ever-evolving definitions of love.
For the majority of people this movies is a lesson on how to be single and happy and how you can avoid being bitter and jealous when your friends are in great relationships and you are not finding your perfect match.
How to be single, a movie that was released on the 12th of February, 2016 at a time when all people were gearing for the all too special Valentine day, or should we say the lovers’ day? During this time, a single person may feel left out. Not that they do not have people to love or people who love them but really it is not the same being at a romantic restaurant with dim lights all dressed up having dinner with your mother. It is the time when you want to pamper someone and be pampered yourself and maybe even cuddle at night and just feel really special.
This year all the single people were covered, they had a lesson to learn on How to be single the right way. Yes, there apparently is a wrong way and a right way to be single. This American romantic comedy film was based on a book by the same name written by Liz Tuccillo. The script of the movie was written by Marc Silverstein and Abby Kohn. It was directed by Christian Ditter.
The plot of the movie
Alice, played by Dakota Johnson, moves to new York to be a paralegal and temporarily dumps her boyfriend right before she moves. In New York, she moves in with her sister an OB/GYN who is also considering having a child but via a sperm donor. Robin, played by Rebel Wilson is a wild co- worker who is befriended by Alice. Robin’s hobbies include one- night stands and partying. While hanging out with Robin, Alice is introduced to Tom, played by Anders Holm. Tom enjoys being single, he loves the attention he gets from women and like Robin, he too enjoys the casual hook ups he gets every now and then. However, even as he enjoys being by himself, Tom would like the company of a woman named Lucy, played by Alison Brie, who lives close to the bar that Tom tends to. She is looking for her Mr. Right on every site available but she has not yet noticed Tom noticing her.
After going to Tom’s bar, Alice sleeps with Tom. However, he explains that he has absolutely no desire to be in a relationship and even shows her how far he will go to avoid being tied up to anyone. Instead of hugging or kissing when she is leaving, he fist- bumps her. After that Alice meets with her sort of ex- boyfriend Josh and tells him that she thinks their break up season is over and they should get back together however Josh does not want it because he already moved on.
Meanwhile Alice’s sister goes for her sperm donation, the first and only one that fails. She begins dating Ken after she discovers that her second attempt worked. Tom witnesses the many bad date Lucy has had and suddenly becomes protective and even jealous. He finally figures out that he is emotionally attracted to Lucy.
After being rejected by Josh, Alice attends a Wesleyan alumni network event in an attempt to “put herself out there”, like most women after a bad break up. She meets a guy named David and they have a small conversation. Later Robin and Alice attend a winter holiday party that was held and hosted by Josh. In the party, Alice watches in pain as he kisses and dances with his new girlfriend Michelle. She leaves the party with a lot of bitterness and goes to watch the Christmas tree in the Rockefellers center. As she is walking down the street, she coincidentally bumps into David and invites him to watch the tree with her. David responds by telling her that he had something to show her which sounds more interesting that the tree watching adventure. They walk into a building under construction where David reveals that he has a window that provides a striking view of the Christmas tree. This dazzles Alice and they begin dating. Three months later, David finds Alice singing with his daughter and becomes infuriated. He reminds Alice that she is not phoebe’s mother. Confused, Alice apologizes and asks why he does not like talking about phoebe’s mother and they break up.
Lucy finally finds a man to date, Paul who reveals that he is seeing other people because he thought they were in an open relationship. They break up. This does not go well with Alice who breaks down at her volunteer job reading stories to children. She is not happy with the children stories about princes who leave princesses. She is angered and even tries to cut her spanx with child- safe scissors. A bookstore worker comforts her and the two begin dating.
In an attempt to get over their frustrations for Josh and Lucy, Tom and Alice get together for drinks, which end up with them sleeping together. Like usual, the morning after they fist bump and Alice leaves. Elsewhere, Ken realizes that Meg is pregnant and is very excited and promises to help her raise the baby. She however breaks up with him because she thinks he will leave after the baby is born.
At Alice’s birthday party, Robin invites all of Alice’s exes which makes Alice furious and they argue with Robin. Still at the party, Tom finally gets the courage to confess his feelings for Lucy. She however will hear none of it and rejects him. George over hears the conversation and mocks Tom.
Alice goes to sit at the fire escape alone and is joined by Josh. The two kiss passionately but Alice leaves in frustration after realizing that Josh is still engaged to Michelle. Now more that ever, she is determined to find happiness from within herself and be contented with being a single woman. Meg goes into labor and in an attempt to get her a cab, Robin throws herself at the windshield of the cab Alice is in.
For the typical happy conclusion, Ken goes into the hospital and insists on being with Meg and her new baby for the rest of his life. She agrees, they kiss and talk to the baby together. Alice goes to Robin’s apartment to resolve their conflict only to discover that she is super- rich even though she never pays for her own drinks when they go out. As the film ends, Alice realizes that she has gone hiking at the Grand Canyon by herself, a goal she always wanted to achieve.
Rebel Wilson as Robin
Dakota Johnson as Alice
Leslie Mann as Meg
Alison Brie as Lucy
Nicholas Braun as Josh
Damon Wayans Jr as David
Jason Mantzoukas as George
Jake Lacy as ken
Sarah Ramos as Michelle
Andes Holm as Tom
Colin Josh as Paul
Zani Jones Mbayise as Phoebe
Vanessa Rubio as David’s wife
After the debut of her novel “How to be single” in 2008, film rights were bought by New Line Cinema, Nancy Juvonen and Drew Barrymore in the same year. The film was to be produced through Flower film. It was announced that Barrymore would be the director of the romantic comedy film on 15th march, 2011. On December 17, 2013 it was announced that Love Rosie’s director Christian Ditter would be directing instead and Barrymore would still be the producer. Diana Fox would be the script writer and Warner Bros would release.
Although there were talks in early February 2014 that Lilly Collins would appear in the film she ultimately did not. By January 2015, Dakota, Rebel and Leslie were all in the cast. Damon, Jason and Nicholas all joined later the same year.
The main filming of the movie began on April 20th 2015 in new York city and ended the same year on August 2015.
Response from critics and fans
How to be single had been grosses a whooping $31.8 million in North America and #24.1 million in other territories in America. In the whole world, it gained a total of $55.9 million against the budget for the whole movie which came to $38 million. This data was collected from 21st February 2016. It had made $700, 000 from the previews on Thursday and over $5.3 million on its first day. Compared to some of the films that came out around the same time, this is a great response from an audience.
The film has received mixed reactions with an average of 5.2/ 10 from Rotten tomatoes after 114 reviews. Critics say that although the movie has a rough outline of the feminist rom- com, it is still too willing to indulge in the conventions it wants to subvert. On CinemaScore on a grade of between A+ and F, the film got a “B”. This response varies from site to site and it is yet to be seen whether after more and more people view it, the ratings will change for the better.
What Christian Ditter learnt from the film
For a long time, women have been mysterious to men. What do women want, what did she mean, how can I… all these are questions whose answers even Google does not seem to get right. Women are mysterious and complicated, this is the gospel according to every man in the planet. Almost every man, anyway. According to Ditter, being in the film How to be single, working alongside so many women, and learning how they think and what makes they tick, he finally learnt something about the mystery of women.
This could be somewhat ironic given that most of his family is made up of women. One would think he would have learnt something or two about women by now especially from the women in his life. However, he thinks he has learnt more from the crew and the cast he worked with than from the women he has met previously. Speaking to BANG Showbiz, he says that although in his life he has a mum, a sister, a wife and two daughters, women were still a big mystery to him. He continues to add that working on set with a great group of women is great because it gets him learning something new each time.
He adds that although working with these talented actresses and comedy geniuses was fun and got it out of his comfort zone for a little bit, he still had to bring everyone back to the rails and sometimes even minimize all the fun the ladies were having. His toughest point on set was having to do all the research about how being single works currently, given that he wouldn’t know much about it seeing as he is happily married.
He had to go deep into the minds of the ladies to find out what it means for the modern person to be single. Who does it affect the quality of their life? He had to learn more about all the fun and the challenges that came with the territory. He also had to find some surprises along the way to keep everything interesting and more real.
Seeing the great response and the number of times the words "how to be single" have been searched online, it is clear that he finally got the attention of people in this generation. It seems that finally the research from his crew and cast and the need for everything done on set to feel real to everyone worked in coming up with a movie that does not just crack ribs but one that a single person can get pointers from.