Published On: Sat, Feb 13th, 2016

“How To Be Single” Not Just Another Chick Flick

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By Skip Sheffield

What, another chick flick rom-com?

Yes, that describes “How to Be Single.”  However, this movie has a not-so-secret secret weapon in Rebel Wilson, who plays a variation on her devil-may-care anything- goes character of Robin, the sparkplug to this comedy, based on Liz Tucillo’s book, with screenplay by Abby Kohn and Marc Silverstein (“Valentine’s Day,” “He’s Just Not That Into You”).

The nominal star of “How To” is Dakota Johnson as nice girl Alice, who takes a break from her steady boyfriend whom she has been dating for four years. Acting as her coach and cheerleader is Robin, who urges her to live a little (and have sex) before she settles down.

Johnson is much better suited to the role of Alice than she was as the submissive masochist in “Fitty Shades of Grey.” Johnson has matured, yet she still has an appealingly girlish, tentative quality as Alice.

Playing Alice’s older sister Meg is the always-reliable Leslie Mann. Mann plays a successful New York City obstetrician who is proudly single and has no desire to marry. However the lure of motherhood is strong, and she will succumb to that irresistible force.

Allison Brie is Lucy, a woman who firmly believes she can find Mr. Right on Internet dating services. Good luck with that.

Playing the nicest of the male suitors is Damon Wayans, Jr., who plays it straight as a widower with an adorable young daughter. Anders Holm, Nicholas Braun, Jake Lacey and Jason Mantzoukas are serviceable as male foils to the female main characters.

“How To Be Single” is more than just another chick flick under the direction of Christian Ditter (“Love Rosie”). It has heart and soul along with easy low humor. It’s a feel-good movie for single people who are not convinced marriage is the answer to everything.

Three stars

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