Warner Bros. Pictures
February 12, 2016 11:30 AM EST

Valentine’s Day is as apt to dredge up feelings of bitterness and contempt as it is to inspire warmth and love. For every teddy bear clutching a heart-shaped box of chocolates, there is a cynic clutching a bottle of wine, for every dozen roses, a dozen haters who decry the holiday as a sham built on maudlin Hallmark clichés. It’s no coincidence that the new comedy How to Be Single lands in theaters smack-dab in the middle of February, joining a crop of other movies that—contrary to the suggestion of Netflix queues rife with romance—focus on friendship, empowerment in the absence of a partner and the kind of fun that just can’t be had while weighed down with a ball and chain.

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Write to Eliza Berman at eliza.berman@time.com.

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