Four women, four stories, with one thing in common: they’re all single. Sometimes classy, sometimes trainwrecks, they suit up for the emotional obstacle course that is the modern dating game and find that being single is a lot more than crying into your phone. It’s actually kind of fun.
In the new film How to Be Single (in cinemas February 19), newly-single Alice (Dakota Johnson) teams up with wild and raunchy Robin (Rebel Wilson), who helps her get back into the swing of dating. Meanwhile Alice’s older sister Meg (Leslie Mann) struggles with the notion of settling down, while the ever-romantic Lucy (Alison Brie) just wants to get the whole “single” thing over and done with.
Each in their own way, they find that, even with the occasional awkward text and cringey bar-encounter, being single is pretty great. “Modern dating is the best of times and the worst of times,” Alison Brie says. “It’s a nightmare,” Rebel Wilson adds playfully. “I would never online date. There are psychos out there.” But the benefits? “You have total freedom. Everything feels sort of adventurous,” Brie says, and Wilson agrees: “[I like] the independence and being able to do whatever you want, when you want. You don’t have to consult or communicate with anybody else.” Except, in this case, maybe your BFFs.
How to Be Single sees four women whose stories each show a unique side to New York City’s vast--and sometimes insane--dating scene. “All of our characters have a different take on being single, or wanting to not be single,” Brie says. “They’re traditional archetypes you might see in romantic comedies, but that are all turned on their heads. There’s something unexpected that happens in every storyline.”
The four female powerhouses form a seriously envy-worthy #girlsquad. “We’ve all got different comedic techniques and energies,” Wilson says of her fellow actresses. It’s this camaraderie and support that keeps the characters going, even when singledom shifts from exciting to just kind of sad. It also makes for an incredible dynamic on-screen and off-screen. Borderline-weird situations are no sweat: “I got to film a scene with Dakota, where I got to stare at her crotch region and make jokes about it,” Wilson says of her favourite scene, in which the women are sweating in a sauna. “It was the quickest scene to shoot.”
The moral of this story isn’t about just getting hitched and moving on. The film is called “How to Be Single” not “How to Not Be Single.” “I’m loving that culturally, there’s been a shift,” Wilson says. “There’s not so much stigma attached to being single. [This is] one of the first movies to have a pro-single message in a romantic comedy.” And hopefully not the last.
Because dating isn’t just all about finding a partner. It’s also about finding a version of you that’s comfortable watching Netflix alone and a friend that can make you laugh even in a towel and a million-degrees heat to go along with it. What can feel like the worst years of our lives sometimes turn out to be the best.