Blu-ray Review: How To Be Single

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As messy as its storytelling telling is, rom-com How To Be Single glides by painlessly on the strength of its ensemble cast. Director Christian Ditter has too many narrative threads to juggle, but those in the mood for something light and generally bubbly shouldn't walk away too disappointed. Damning with faint praise? Perhaps. But luckily Dakota Johnson proves to be more than a 'one hit wonder' following her star turn in the blockbuster Fifty Shades of Gray. Johnson's agreeable comedic presence is the best reason to see How To Be Single, now available on Blu-ray, DVD, and Digital HD via Warner Bros. Home Entertainment.

In Single she plays Alice, a young woman looking to break free from her long-term boyfriend Josh (Nicholas Braun). Basically Alice wants to play the field a bit. A relationship with single dad and widower David (Damon Wayans Jr) takes a complicated turn. Meanwhile, Alice's sister Meg (Leslie Mann) is an OB/GYN without a family of her own. Though she initially maintains an aversion to motherhood, she's entering middle age and is increasingly worried she'll run out of time. 
 
how to be single BD (297x380).jpg As Single tells Alice and Meg's respective stories, it gets a bit tripped up with various side plots. There's bartender and serial philanderer Tom (Anders Holm), who engages in a bit of 'hard to get' flirtation with online dating site junkie Lucy (Alison Brie). There's also Alice's best friend Robin (Rebel Wilson), a party-hardy free spirit who has no fulfilling relationship of her own but insists on quarterbacking Alice's love life. Wilson's shtick (i.e. uncouth, loudmouth slob) has grown pretty tired over various similar supporting roles over the years.

At times, Single feels like one of those Garry Marshall holiday-themed ensemble comedies (Valentine's Day, New Year's Eve, Mother's Day). There's no holiday to glue it all together, but it does feel similar as it often veers into sit-com-ish corniness (plus the presence of too many characters). Everything gets tied up way too pat of a manner, but there are enough laughs throughout to make it a watchable (if forgettable) diversion.

Warner Bros.' Blu-ray offers vividly colorful imagery (cinematography by Christian Rein) and a lossless DTS-HD MA 5.1 soundtrack. Bonus features are a bit middling. There's a selection of deleted scenes, Rebel Wilson-centric outtakes, and a gag reel. A trio of fluffy featurettes adds up to about 15 minutes of behind-the-scenes content.

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Chaz Lipp is a Seattle-based freelance writer whose focus is music and film. As “The Other Chad,” he has written for the online magazine Blogcritics since 2008. When he’s not writing, Chaz can be found trolling jazz clubs, attempting to find somewhere to play his sax (whether anyone wants to hear…

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