Not even a minute has gone by before the movie trots out its first cliche: Dale (Lacey Chabert) walks back into her house looking for her cell phone to discover that her boyfriend is cheating on her with her best friend! Then the movie ups the ante when she discovers her next boyfriend sleeping with another man. Fed up by a string of heartbreak, Dale moves to Los Angeles for slightly confusing reasons (she explains in tired voice-over that she'll be happy to have some flings, but it reads like sarcasm, and when we catch up with her there a minute later, she's already disappointed that she hasn't found something more long-term than an Italian photographer (Simon Rex) who sleeps with his models behind her back.
Over the course of the first 10 or 15 minutes, Dale starts introducing characters and doesn't seem to stop. The four that are important are her two best friends, Hallie (Jenna Dewan) and Becca (Carly Schroeder), the aforementioned gay neighbor, Seven (Jonathan Bennett), and Zach (Kip Pardue), a handsome rock star who Dale knew before his big break. Meanwhile, Dale's sister Jill (Haylie Duff) hovers over her shoulder while she plans her wedding to Drew (Chris Kattan). Other than the flimsy conflict -- Dale is single in Los Angeles -- and the blatantly obvious resolution hovering patiently on the horizon, there is nothing to propel the viewer through even 88 measly minutes but the movie's dire excuse for comedy.
Topics mined for humor will not surprise anyone with their inventiveness, considering they all come out of a joke book from the 1950s. Women are concerned about whether or not their butts are too big! Hollywood is a vapid place! Gay guys are emotionally over-the-top and love making catty comments! Women are inherently jealous of one another! The closest the movie comes to surprise is Kattan shouting his desire to have anal sex at Duff in a public park. As per Hollywood's rules for writing female protagonists, Dale is often awkward and clumsy, although director / screenwriter Christie Will shakes that innocence up by making Dale just as judgmental as her friends, looking down on "bimbos" in a club bathroom, and rolling her eyes internally at the people who come in to audition for the reality show she works on (a show she refers to as "retarded"). Directorially, Will has no cards up her sleeve, either, unable to hide the movie's limitations through clever lighting or framing. Clubs that should theoretically be hip and stylish look small and empty, props appear cheap (fake money!), and one or two slightly ambitious transitions are foiled by awkward execution. The performers do what's asked of them to the best of their ability (Pardue looks entirely unsure of what to do on stage), but nobody rises above contemptible material.
As the film builds toward a climax, it twists itself around to hit not only the traditional romantic comedy bases but also to allow Dale to fight with her friends in a bit of soap opera-level "drama." Through the film's definition of quality, Slightly Single in L.A. paints a picture of its intended audience that is far from pleasant: a vapid viewer unconcerned with the nuances of story who would be entertained by an hour and a half of women acting clueless, self-centered, and mean, as long as everything works out in the end. It's so insistently simplistic that the best way to summarize it is a joke worthy of the movie: this is zero-calorie entertainment.
The Video and Audio
Trailers for And While We Were Here, Not Suitable For Children, and Triple Dog play before the main menu.