Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Review: He's Just Not That Into You

Grade: B-

It may surprise many of you to know that I was actually interested in seeing this movie. There were a number of reasons, first, I like Greg Behrendt, the writer of the book this movie is based on, he is a very funny and honest man when it comes to the subject of relationships and secondly, I like the cast, I don’t care what anybody thinks but I really enjoy Ben Affleck, also I like Justin Long, Jennifer Connelly, Jennifer Aniston and Scarlet Johansson and was pleasantly surprised to see brief appearances from Kris Kristofferson and Luis Guzman. This movie, set in Baltimore, is about a group of different intertwining relationships and a couple of people trying to find love… and how it can all go wrong sometimes.

It starts in a park where a young girl is pushed down by a boy who then says that she is “made of dog poo”, this girl then goes to her mother who proceeds to tell her that the reason he did this is because he likes her. Then we have the narration about how girls are conditioned to believe that if a guy treats them bad that that just means he likes her. This is just one of many problems about relationships presented in the movie. I was very happy to see that this movie wasn’t a man-hating movie and in fact in several cases, the women were worse than the men.

First you have the (in my opinion) lovable character Gigi, played so very well by the beautiful Ginnifer Goodwin, who is very, how do I put this kindly… psychotic and clingy when it comes to dating. She’ll go on a date with a guy, exchange phone numbers, then literally wait by the phone for him to call, then call him, then drop by a bar she knows he hangs out at in hopes of running into him. She befriends my favorite character in the movie, Alex, played superbly by Justin Long. Alex is a very honest straight forward guy who tells Gigi the inner workings of a guys mind. He tells her things like “if he doesn’t call you, he’s not going to because he’s not interested” and “If he says he’s going out of town and won’t be able to be reached for a couple days, he’s not interested” and many others. Alex is friends with Conor, played by Kevin Connolly, a real estate agent who is hung up on a girl who just toys with his emotions and shows no real interest in being in a relationship with him. This girl, who in my opinion is easily the scummiest character of them all, Anna, played by the gorgeous Scarlett Johansson. Anna, as I mentioned, toys with Conor and strings him along and just uses the guy basically and on top of that she meets the character Ben, played by Bradley Cooper, who is a married man, she then proceeds to tease him and flirt with him until he finally caves and cheats on his wife by sleeping with her. Ben is married to Janine, played by Jennifer Connolly, who is, again in my opinion, crazy and does not have her priorities straight, she is more upset about her husband possibly smoking than her husband cheating on her and we find out at one point, that she never has sex with her husband, ever. Janine works with Gigi as well as Beth, played by Jennifer Aniston, who has been in a relationship with Neil, played by Ben Affleck, for over 7 years and is still not married and wishes to get engaged, but Neil doesn’t believe in the institution of marriage, but her younger sister is now getting married leaving her the last of four daughters to be married. Lastly, going back a couple steps, Janine is friends with Mary, played by Drew Barrymore, a columnist who works at a gay magazine who finds that technology lately, makes relationships, or rather finding one, complicated.

This movie was actually very funny and very good. I really enjoyed it and all the performances were great, especially Justin Long, it’s movies like this that makes me think he needs a better agent, he is such a talented and funny actor he should be making better movies. Also, I am not a big Scarlett Johansson fan but she was pretty good in this as well. I’m not a big fan of Jennifer Aniston in movies but she was great in this. He’s Just Not That Into You is also a very insightful movie, as I have known girls like Gigi and Beth. It is a very honest movie and sometimes brutally so. There is stuff in this movie for men as well as women, so it is not a straight chick flick and I think some guys will enjoy this movie with their girlfriends. This provocative movie is not your typical chick flick, there are no make-over montages, nobody slides down a wall while crying, nobody laughs and cries at the same time, no elderly people saying inappropriate things, no emotional chases down the street, no speech about every little detail that the guy likes about the girl or vice versa and no falling in love montages, in fact I don’t remember a single montage in the entire movie. This really is a movie for everybody. I really do recommend everybody go see this, it is a great date movie.

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