Sunday, June 12, 2016

How To Be Single: refreshing and hopeful

Alice (Dakota Johnson) temporarily dumps her college boyfriend Josh (Nicholas Braun) and moves to New York City to be a paralegal. She moves in with her sister, Meg (Leslie Mann) an OB/GYN who refuses to have a baby or any form of relationship.

Alice befriends wild co-worker Robin (Rebel Wilson), who enjoys partying and one-night stands, and local bartender Tom (Anders Holm), who willfully embraces the bachelor lifestyle and hooks up with various women including Alice. Tom meets Lucy (Alison Brie) at his bar when she uses his Internet for free. She explains she is looking for "The One" using various dating sites.

Alice meets with Josh to tell him she is finished with their break and ready to get back together. Josh explains that they can't because he is seeing someone else, which distresses Alice. Meanwhile, Meg has a change of heart and decides to have a child via sperm donor. She starts dating a younger man named Ken (Jake Lacy) shortly after learning her attempt at in vitro fertilization was successful, however she hides the pregnancy from Ken.

Back at Tom's bar, Lucy has a string of bad dates. Tom witnesses this and one night after he kisses her to save her face among her old friends, Tom starts to realize he has feelings for Lucy. As Meg kindles her own relationship, Alice continues to pine after Josh. In an attempt to put herself out there, she attends a Wesleyan alumni networking event, where she hits it off with a man named David (Damon Wayans Jr). But she doesn't pursue it as she notices the ring on his finger, signalling that he's married.

Lucy, having been in a relationship for three weeks with a man named Paul whom she met on the dating site, goes to Grand Central Station to send him off. Paul reveals that he has been seeing other people, thinking she was doing the same. They then break up, as it is obvious that Lucy does not. Lucy, extremely agitated, breaks down at her volunteer job reading stories to children. George (Jason Mantzoukas), who works at the bookstore, soothes her and the two begin a relationship.

Alice and Robin attend Josh's winter holiday party, however Alice finds she cannot watch Josh with his new girlfriend. Walking alone, she runs into David, who shows her a private view of the Rockefeller Christmas tree. Dazzled, Alice thanks him and they begin a relationship. Three months later, as she is singing with David's daughter, Phoebe, David becomes upset with Alice, reminding her sternly that she's not Phoebe's mother. The two break up.

On St Patrick's Day, Alice bumps into Josh and his parents, and he appears pleasantly surprised to see her. Lucy comes to Tom's bar and shows him the swanky outfit she got for herself to share with George. Tom is visibly upset, and he invites Alice to get drunk. The two talk about their frustrations with their feelings for Josh and Lucy, and end up sleeping together in an attempt to distract themselves. Meanwhile, Ken discovers Meg is pregnant, but is eager to help raise her child. Meg, concerned that he isn't truly committed, ends the relationship.

Later, at Alice's birthday party, Robin has invited Tom, David, and Josh without Alice's knowledge. Shaken by the presence of all three men, Alice argues with Robin. Tom goes to confess his feelings to Lucy, who announces she is engaged to George. Now sitting on the fire escape, Alice is joined by Josh. The two make out passionately, but stop when Alice is horrified to learn that Josh is now engaged and was simply looking for closure. Invigorated by a desire to find herself, Alice leaves to go home. Her cab hits Robin, who has purposely jumped on the windshield to get a cab for Meg, who is in labor. Alice and Meg rush to the hospital, where Meg successfully delivers her baby. Ken appears and convinces her to re-enter the relationship, after Alice calls him up telling him about Meg's delivery.

After a while, Alice picks up her courage and goes to see Robin at her apartment. There, she successfully repairs her relationship with Robin.

The film closes as Alice reflects on her time living alone and being single. Tom is seen repairing his tap water plumbing, which he had purposely cut in an attempt to prevent hungover women from hanging around his apartment. Meg and Ken are seen enjoying their life as a couple, and Robin carries on partying. Alice is seen hiking the Grand Canyon by herself so that she can witness the sunrise on New Year's Day, a dream she always had.

i've always been a fan of DJ. i think she's good at acting, making you like her tremendously. RW is in her usual element here, providing confident fat lady jokes like getting out of the taxi through the window and whatnot. LM is believable as the career woman who is rather insecure of being in a relationship. i like Ken way of saying "this is not me leaving, but you pushing me away". though it puts the blame on Meg, still, it gives one hope that he'll come back if asked.

the most attractive guy in this movie would have been Tom. hahaha.. i simply love his character. even though he looks like sleazy sometimes but his protectiveness of Lucy simply melts my heart. as for the most hateful jerk, at first i would have chosen David. but as it is later explained, there is a reason as to why he went berserk when Alice sang the song to his daughter, his late wife used to sing it to her. i revised my feelings regarding him as he earnestly apologizes to Alice at her birthday party. so off the jerk list, you!

the affection between the sisters is palpable and apparent, and the chemistry between them with Robin is believable. even though Robin is somewhat kooky, the sisters love her just the same. unconditional love between friends, right?

this is a romantic movie even though the main protagonist, Alice does not end up with anyone. i so much would have liked her to be with Tom. but alas, that is just my wistful thinking :) this movie is a balm to single souls.. that love can be found just around the corner like what happened to Lucy. it also means it can only work after you discard your insecurities behind like what Meg did. and if it doesn't happen yet, you have to love yourself like Alice did, focusing on achieving other life goals that otherwise wouldn't be met when you are in a serious relationship.

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