On the surface, there isn't much to object to in How to Be Single. Look, it says! No matter how fabulous their lives may seem, everyone wants to be happier and more fulfilled. Everyone is looking for something more, just like you! And really, Christian Ditter's film (based on the book by Liz Tuccillo) isn't bad as these things go; it zips along as Dakota Johnson's Alice, in the first flush of post-college singlehood, makes a nutty new friend, bangs some dopes, has a brief relationship and ultimately decides she needs to know herself better before giving her heart to anyone else. The friend: Rebel Wilson's Robin, who's Pitch Perfect's Fat Amy ten drunker, hornier, rowdier years later — which is to say, Wilson spends most of the movie improvising her lines, because it's not like Robin does anything that "Rebel Wilson" wouldn't do in any other role.
The problem is that the movie presents Alice's experience as universal, as if anyone outside of a movie set in New York has ever lived like these white, straight young women in their 20s. What is How to Be Single supposed to teach an actual person? No one can wear those clothes and those heels and live in Williamsburg on $58,000 a year -- unless the actual advice here is that recent college grads should max out their credit cards to buy the perfect stilettos for walking through midtown. It criticizes the last decade's Bridget Jones and Carrie Bradshaw fantasies, which themselves were supposed to be more "realistic" portrayals of single heterosexual womanhood, but it still exists in a candy-coated New York where exactly six nonwhite people ever speak.