Here are the pros and cons about the movie. Pros: Leslie Mann and Dakota Johnson. They are wonderful and their presence in the film is all that saves it from complete disaster. Cons: Everything else.
HOW TO BE SINGLE is a romantic-comedy that is best described as a shemozzle. It is a mish-mash of ideas thrown together without any cohesion or chemistry amongst its characters. The film kicks off by establishing two female characters who's stories, it is logical to presume, will provide the pivot to the story. However towards the end of the first act one of them is cast aside and their entire presence in the remainder of the film becomes irrelevant. We are left with one woman's story and all of the characters who surround her... but that other woman? She has scenes but... whatever. She's not important anymore (apparently).
The story follows Alice (Johnson) who has broken up with her boyfriend and moves to New York City. Determine to live the single life and rediscover herself she befriends an annoying Aussie work colleague (Rebel Wilson) and attempts to play the field, if you know what I mean. The middle act of film becomes a laborious and over-written barrage of puerile jokes about dicks, tits, clits and shagging. Rebel Wilson feels like a gun-for-hire with ALL of the dirty material assigned to her. - and boy does she over-play it. I have a soft spot for her in general but I don't think she's been more disagreeable than she is in this film.
Dakota Johnson is lovely in the lead and it's a pleasure to watch her. Leslie Mann plays her supportive sister and she's as equally delightful. In fact it's amazing that she was able to deliver such a sincere performance with such a disjointed and messy script... and for that fact alone HOW TO BE SINGLE has some merit. The rest of the cast are passable and there are a lot of charming moments in the movie that began to make me reevaluate my reaction... but no sooner did the film have my attention, Rebel Wilson would burst on to the screen with some stupid remark about midgets or albinos, or how many guys she's fucked, and it would all dissolve into an embarrassing and painfully unfunny exercise in excess.
Two great performances, a handful of mediocre ones and a shabby narrative do constitute a good movie.