If we were ever curious to know how to tell when someone’s just not into us, this author’s titular self-help book thinks they have all the right answers. In reality He’s Just Not that Into You winds up being another warped (albeit fun) romantic-comedy. (Sometimes this is just what we need.)
He’s Just Not that Into You (2009) Film Review
Gigi (Ginnifer Goodwin) has a problem. She can’t seem to get a guy to ask her on a second date. She’s insecure and bordering on obsessive. Gigi’s co-workers and friends Beth (Jennifer Aniston) and Janine (Jennifer Connelly) want to help, but distractions arise when they begin to have problems in their ideal relationships. Beth and her boyfriend Neal (Ben Affleck) have been in a seven-year relationship that never leads to marriage. As a mid-30s career girl, Beth begins to see her life in pause, and even though she and Neal share a deep love, things ultimately end. Janine and her husband Ben (Bradley Cooper) were high school sweethearts and married right out of college. Now they’re remodeling a modest townhouse and are seemingly the perfect couple until Ben meets Anna (Scarlett Johanason).
An aspiring artist, Anna finds encouragement from friend Mary (Drew Barrymore) to pursue this relationship. This is much to the dismay of her on-again, off-again real estate agent “boyfriend” Coner (Kevin Connelly). Meanwhile Gigi attempts to learn the curious ways men keep putting her off, only this time she has some help from bartender Alex (Justin Long) who professes to be an expert in everything to do with the languages of love.
Despite its many character arcs and “ensemble” cast, in reality, this story isn’t nearly confusing as it might appear on paper. This has to be one of the most star-studded romantic comedies ever. Despite the names, this is a “surface” fun romantic comedy. Look beneath and you’ll recognize a cavalier attitude about marriage and love (or in this case, a sexual relationship). Character’s “throw away” marriage vows and feel very little guilt “in the moment” about their reaction and actions. Likewise, Johansson’s Anna has zero scruples when it comes to another’s marriage. This not only makes her a character tough to root for, but also Barrymore’s Mary, who is, otherwise, a sweet character we easily root on (as all of her characters tend to be).
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But throughout the two hours, for those who look deeper, all of this means, finding someone to really like can be a challenge. Some critics did complain about the end to one couple’s story; for me, I find it awfully sweet and didn’t have any problems with its progression. Believe it or not there is a happily-ever-after or two; two of which are surprisingly cute. Even though first blush may suggest this says marriage is a sham and not something to be taken seriously, in a way He’s Just not that into You is all about hard and honest lessons. One couple doesn’t receive a good end because of this, and I respect that we see them unhappy as a result of their choices.
In terms of production, the filmmaking is sometimes peculiar when it merges into a documentary-like scenario. (We get caught up in the characters’ lives, before an abrupt change to a “real person” sharing their problems: anything from a guy not calling to cheating husbands.) This is one element that isn’t complementary nor does it add to the enjoyment of the film. Despite its flaws, I confess, I quite enjoy this as a once-in-a-while romantic comedy. It’s not a movie that will be for everyone, and that’s okay. Anyone who likes clean(er) romance would enjoy something like Love Happens (with Jennifer Aniston)or the many originals Hallmark airs. There are glimpses of charm and it’s in these shining moments that He’s Just Not that Into You is something I definitely am into.
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CONTENT: PG13 is the rating, and this one most definitely “adult.” Profanity includes uses of sh*t, bas*ard, and an f-word, there may be some deity abuse. Various sexual situations are alluded to; there are conversations about sex, and several homosexual jokes. There are two post-sex scenes, but the worst scene comes when a woman visits the office of a man she plans to seduce. Anna strips naked once when swimming.